Unseen Ripples From A Pebble
published: 9 /
In our 'Re:View' section, in which we look back at albums from the past, Dixie Ernill reflects on indie pop band the Wolfhounds' debut album 'Unseen Ripples From A Pebble', which is about to be re-released in an expanded edition
The Wolfhounds formed in Romford back in the mid-1980s, and during a recording career that originally ended in 1990 managed to churn out a plethora of singles and no less than four LPs. Such prolific activity is practically unheard of in the modern era, but with indie music being somewhat en vogue at the time, thanks to the likes of the Smiths and the Housemartins, such urgency to get music out there on a slew of new independent labels was pretty much de rigueur.
Led by singer/guitarist Dave Callahan, along with Andy Bolton (bass), Frank Stebbing (drums), Paul Clark (guitar) and Andy Golding (guitar/vocals), the Wolfhounds appeared on the near-mythical NME C86 cassette after just one release, 'Cut the Cake', a 12” EP, on the influential Pink Label.
This compilation sees the re-release of the band’s debut LP 'Unseen Ripples From A Pebble', that was originally unveiled in the spring of 1987, for the first time on CD, together with all the songs that the band put out on the Pink label and a couple of other tracks from the same period.
Whilst the band’s sound would develop and evolve over the following years, this period lends a heavy debt to the early Postcard bands such as Josef K and the Go-Betweens, while Callahan’s vocals have a distinct hint of David Gedge from the Wedding Present. While the album itself is possibly marginally more melodic/jangly than the singles, it does lack the extra sparkle that make bands like the Chesterfields and the Brilliant Corners such firm favourites of mine.
That said there is sufficient merit within this compilation to justify the re-emergence of the band as a live and latterly recording force nearly ten years ago. In the last twelve months alone the band have been performing at several indie-pop festivals across Europe alongside the likes of the Brilliant Corners as well as the current crop of new indie-pop bands keen to keep the scene alive.
Probably the key track on this compilation is 'The Anti-Midas Touch' as the opening has been lifted, practically wholesale, by Nirvana to form the backbone of their best known single, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. So whilst the Wolfhounds themselves may never have hit the big time, their influence has had a major effect on modern music history. Irrespective of that, this compilation deserves a space in anyone’s record collection who has an interest in the whole C86/mid-80’s indie-pop phenomenon.