This week’s Spotify Playlist comes from New Jersey prog-metallers In the Presence of Wolves. The band’s EP, Of Two Minds, Stages 1-2: The Ape and the Cage, will be out on June 30th, and was recorded with The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Kevin Antreassian. You can hear a taste of it here, and pre-order it here.
When we first started the band, coming up with a name was a huge hassle. We finally settled on ours because it seemed easy for people to find online and it was the first name we didn’t hate. Of course, we were unaware that there were websites at the time that kept track of the swarms of band names with “wolf” in the title. Regardless, we didn’t worry about it and have generally kept away falling into the trap of wolf-themed things.
Somewhere along the line, the idea of keeping track of some of our favorite wolf songs seemed like a fun, tongue-in-cheek exercise. It didn’t take long to discover there are probably equally as many wolf-named and -themed songs as there are bands. It was really tough narrowing it down but here’s what we came up with for our Top 10 wolf songs!
Mastodon, “The Wolf is Loose”
One of the most driving tunes we’ve ever heard. This song pumps us up like nothing else and is Mastodon at their peak heaviness. Brann, the drummer, described in the track commentary that the name of this track directly represents the track itself. It’s sounds like an animal breaking out of its cage. We think it’s a pretty cool way to come up with track titles.
Incubus, “In The Company Of Wolves”
It’s a long story, but we derived our name from this song and with good reason. It’s sprawling, dynamic, and epic without ever overstating its welcome.
Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf”
You can’t have a wolf playlist without this song. It’s a perfect pop tune that we’ve always wanted to cover just to see what would happen.
The Dillinger Escape Plan, “Sunshine the Werewolf”
Considering that we’ve recorded both of our albums with Kevin Antreassian, their guitarist, and that they’re Jersey boys like us, this one needs to be on this list. This was also the second to last song they played when they came to Philly on their “last” US tour.
Ozzy Osbourne, “Bark at The Moon”
This one is special because Chris used to play this song on Guitar Hero on the expert level and never miss a note. We thought if he can play real guitar half as good as he can play that, We’d be just fine.
Warren Zevon, “Werewolves of London”
This song is perfect (just like hair of the Werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s) and if you don’t think so, you’re wrong. We’ve loved this song since we were kids and it still entertains us to this day.
Queens of the Stone Age, “Someone’s in the Wolf”
Queens of the Stone Age is one of the most consistent alternative rock bands and you don’t hear about them all that often. This song is a highlight from Lullabies to Paralyze; creepy and full of riffs.
Thrice, “Lion and the Wolf”
This song was a big departure from Thrice at the time and a great showing of how they could do anything. It’s a simple song but it’s so haunting.
The Dear Hunter, “But There’s Wolves?”
From their classic rock-influenced Orange EP, this tune is full of swagger and great riffs. Casey Crescenzo’s vocals shine as they always do and it never creeps into Dad Rock territory despite the old school vibe.
Between the Buried and Me, “Famine Wolf”
This is one of the more frenetic tunes from their brilliant album Coma Ecliptic. Paul Waggoner’s dizzying guitar playing is on full display but it never distracts from the rest of the band and their equally impressive musicianship.
In the Presence of Wolves, “Thalassas II: What Dwells Below (The Portal)”
This song is part of the big, three-piece suite from our last album, Thalassas. In context, it’s part of a “sea epic” but it’s instrumental and aggressive and can be about whatever the hell you want it to be about. Like wolves. Or My Little Pony.