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Wolfhounds - Bright and Guilty

  by Kimberly Bright

published: 8 / 11 / 2022

Wolfhounds - Bright and Guilty
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


In our Re:View section, in which our wriiters look back at albums from the past, Kiimberly Bright is impressed by an Optic Nerve reissue of ‘Bright and Guilty’, the 1989 second album‘ from the legendary Wolfhounds, one of the best C86 bands and Romford's finest.

The new Optic Nerve Recordings reissue of The Wolfhounds' noisy post-punk 1989 album ‘Bright and Guilty’ is a gorgeous, glossy package. It includes a 12-page booklet with photos, lyrics, and historic reviews, the remastered original album, and a bonus disc with odds and ends like all their A and B sides, extra tracks, and an outtake. The original Wolfhounds lineup formed in Romford included singer-guitarist David Callahan, guitarists Paul Clark (replaced by Matthew Deighton in 1988) and Andy Holding, bassist Andy Bolton (replaced by David Oliver in 1988), and drummer Frank Stebbing. Callahan's lyrics, some of which are printed here for the first time, are still timely and insightful (see ‘Rent Act’, ‘Charterhouse’). By 1989, he should have been fêted far more for his writing. The Wolfhounds' noisy, eloquently angry, jangly music sounds as if it could have been written this year – not something that can be said for all of the NME C86 bands, with whom they never entirely fit in. The exception is probably B-side ‘Cottonmouth’, with its sample of TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggert. No one really remembers him now, but there has been a vast queue of fallen religious and other public figures to take his place. ‘Bright and Guilty ‘was the lauded follow-up to ‘Unseen Ripples from a Pebble’ (1987) and one of three excellent albums feverishly recorded and released in less than two years. It is widely considered to be some of their best work. The Wolfhounds broke up in 1990 and went their separate ways musically, reuniting in '05, initially for a C86 anniversary concert but then semi-permanently as they began recording new material as well as touring. The reunion gave them a chance to start sifting through their long standing copyright and royalty issues. The Wolfhounds' might also be the only band to be threatened with a lawsuit from a food company – over their song ‘Happy Shopper’. During legal struggles with Warner/Chappell to regain control of the copyrights to Wolfhounds songs in 2016, Callahan told Louder Than War: "The quality of the music produced certainly suggests that we should have done better at the time, without factoring in the series of bad business decisions made." This reissue is not only a great piece for fans to add to their collections, it is a chance to rectify the financial exploitation the band went through for so many years.

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Wolfhounds - Bright and Guilty

Wolfhounds - Bright and Guilty

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