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The Keys - Bitten By Wolves (Album Review)

Saturday, 14 May 2011 Written by Jonny Rimmer
The Keys - Bitten By Wolves (Album Review)

If you ignore the needless genre-hopping on 'Bitten By Wolves' (ska, electronica and jangle-pop are all touched upon), there’s a lot to be respected about Welsh trio the Keys. Their pop sensibility and obsession with 60s psychedelia is clearly a positive trait in a world of autotune and overproduction.

With that said, they could certainly play to their strengths a little more. Whilst reverb, jangly percussion and mellow vocals infect the majority of the record, much too often the talented trio end up several miles too far downstream.  
 
ImageThe leading light on Bitten By Wolves would be the interplay between the two guitarists. Sure, the likes of ‘I Tried to Find It in Books’ and ‘The Colour Red’ lack variety, but there’s some neat and creative harmonies in both tracks. On ‘Everyone Loves You’, the stoner-rock sound is at an absolute peak, with the guitars linking together in the mix for a mesmerizing, even cosmic sound. ‘Crackin Up’ is another highlight, with its bluesy feel and chromatic scales; it boldly experiments in deeper waters without totally veering away from their sound entirely.  
 
At other points, this is not the case. ‘Transformations’ is a little... pointless, and ‘Teacher’s Daughter’ is essentially The Coral’s Dreaming of You on acid. Still, even ignoring even my lazy comparisons, this record is a little ramshackle in places, and you’ll have to persevere for the truly golden moments.  
 
Rather uniquely, fans of Super Furry Animals and The Charlatans will find as much to enjoy in this as The Doors enthusiasts. Nevertheless, the 37 minutes of scuzz’n’roll on here suggests more than it actually shows.

Album Rating: 6/10


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