We Are Wolves | Invisible Violence (Dare To Care)

Even when We Are Wolves misstep slightly on Invisible Violence, the defiant dancing doesn’t need to stop.

Montreal-based dance rock trio We Are Wolves may not yet dominate dance floors across the global hipster scene, but their latest, Invisible Violence, might change that. Packed to the bursting point with pulsing beats, thumping bass, and carnival-ride synthesizers, the album is one long invitation to try and overcome the night’s darkness by shaking your ass non-stop until dawn. But We Are Wolves, and the songs on Invisible Violence, don’t forget that the darkness is still there, no matter how hard we dance.

“Paloma” sets the tone straight away: screaming guitar, pounding backbeat, and whirling synth kick off the album with frenzied, manic energy. The driving, handclap-fueled “Holding Hands” bleeds into “Walking Commotion,” which sounds like the musical love child of Daft Punk and The Clash. But the album’s literal centerpiece (it’s the sixth of twelve tracks) elevates Invisible Violence from being a good album to being a great one. That song is the monstrously hooky, endlessly danceable “Reaching For The Sky.” Powered by an unrelenting beat, stabbing guitars, and spooky synthesized electronics, the song is the audio equivalent of a strobe light in a haunted house—queasily, terrifyingly thrilling.

And even when We Are Wolves misstep slightly on Invisible Violence, the defiant dancing doesn’t need to stop. “Blue” and “La Rue Oblique” are both trying too hard by half, flirting with unnecessary pretentiousness (do the lyrics on the latter really need to be in this self-aware, lilting, sing-song French?), but damn if both aren’t still darkly catchy.

The album’s final track, “Bounty Waterfalls,” brings Invisible Violence to a close in the plaintive fashion of a machine powering down after running fast and hard for a long time. It’s easy to imagine the song fading away as those hipster dancers stumble out into the gray morning light, exhausted and vaguely unsatisfied. They’ll be back when the sun goes down, and Invisible Violence will come back on, and they’ll dance again. A- | John Shepherd

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