S.M. Wolf, Velvet Bethany, THIS, Dogs In Stereo
Tuesday, June 18, 7pm doors/8pm show, $5
Indianapolis indie rockers
S.M. Wolf is a psychedelic power-pop collective of musicians based in Indianapolis and fronted by elementary school teacher and multi-instrumentalist Adam Gross. S.M. Wolf began as a tribute to the 2013 Spring Equinox as what was meant to be a one-time only solo project, contributing a side for a cassette compilation celebrating the changing season. After a positive response, however, Gross enlisted friends and former bandmates Rachel Enneking (keys), Ben Leslie (bass), and James Furness (drums) to form a live act. Attracting attention from local Indianapolis label In Store Recordings (The Dig, Pillars), the cassette recordings were released as a 7” EP around the same time that the band enlisted Melanie Rau to take over drumming duties.
Spending the next year touring regionally and along the East Coast, the band released Canine Country Club in February 2015 with another Indianapolis imprint, Jurassic Pop Records (Pfarmers, Beat Awfuls). In the meantime, Adam started work on S.M. Wolf’s debut full-length, Neon Debris which was later released on Jurassic Pop and In Store as a joint effort. The lead single from the record, We All Decided No, was released as a lathe cut 7” on Joyful Noise Recordings (Sebadoh, Kishi Bashi) with the music video being premiered on MOKB. The music video for the second single, Lies to Heathens, was premiered via the Nerdist with a full album premiere being featured on Impose. Following the release of Neon Debris, the band toured regionally at which time they recorded and released a Daytrotter session. The album rounded out the year landing tracks on end-of-year round up playlists featured on sites like Sub Pop and MOKB.
While continuing to tour regionally, S.M Wolf recorded “The Awful Spring” which was released as a 7”+Reel-to-Reel box set (the first of its kind) on Tucson’s People In A Position To Know Recordings (Flaming Lips, Little Wings). Following its release, S.M. Wolf took to the road again, this time hitting the west coast and everything between.
Bad Ocean, S.M. Wolf’s second LP, shows an evolution of the band both musically and structurally. The record was recorded on 8-track reel-to-reel in Gross’ home studio, yet this time it features all present and past members including new addition Bryan Unruh (keys, guitar, drums). While the band has always had an Elephant Six-like kitchen sink aesthetic when it comes to instrumentation, on this record they reached a little deeper into the sink to showcase diverse instruments such as the theremin, baritone guitar, air organ, and vintage string and mono synths. Bad Ocean also features lyrics that are more vulnerable and personal than on previous S.M. Wolf records while still maintaining the same fuzzed-out pop hooks that they’re known for.
“At another time, it’d be new wave: staccato and scrappy like punk but decidedly more optimistic, with its pop ambition sounding less like commercial gambit than spiritual compulsion.” – Impose Magazine
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