Dansewolf - Smoke N Mirrors
With a name like DanseWolf, I did not expect to hear what resonated from the speakers. The name conjures images of tribal, stoner rock or pagan doom metal. However, what invaded my senses was pop-infused rock with a throwback punk attitude birthed in the 1980s.
Musically, their songs bob between The Romantics/Joan Jett street-rock with a touch of Howard Jones balladry. Vocally, Juls D emits the ferocious tenacity of Blondie's Debbie Harry and the quirky, pop confidence of Gwen Stefani (before she discovered that lost tribe of Harajuku Girls).
The songs are an interesting blend of styles that would easily find a niche in any of the past three decades. The sound is so inclusive and accessible that I really wouldn't be surprised to find audience members wearing neon leg warmers, flannel shirts, and leather jackets.
There are moments, however, especially in the slower-tempo songs, where DanseWolf tends to Xerox the No Doubt/Stefani aesthetic a little thickly. But despite the obvious similarity, DanseWolf manages to retain its street-smart sneer without falling victim to the pop kitsch that plagues hits like "Cool" and "Don't Speak."
If DanseWolf had a male singer, the songs would venture too far into the drab, wrist-slicing emo realm. But since they didn't go that route, the music maintains a brightness that actually enhances mood rather than detracts from it. Smoke N Mirrors is a radiant launching pad for what will undoubtedly expand into an illustrious career for this band.
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