Review: Wolf:Speak – In Light

Artist: Wolf:Speak
Album: In Light – EP
Rating: 5/5

People can say that Post-Rock and Post-Hardcore is losing its luster until their lungs give out but, in reality, there’s bands like Saint Petersburg’s Wolf:Speak who are proving them wrong. The band, founded by original Oceana lead vocalist Keith Jones and  ex-Decoder guitarist Vinny Capitani, sets out to “inspire the listeners to live a prosperous life, free of shame or guilt for pursuing their dreams.” If you’ve ever listened to their former bands, you’ll know that they carry with them a powerful message, a message that transcends time and space… a message that continues to follow them, no matter what musical endeavors they dive into. Their new EP, In Light is one of the most enlightening, beautiful and inspiring pieces of artistry that you will ever hear.

As you’re met with the first riff of the EP in “Storyteller”, you can already tell you’re in for a ride. “Well hey, kids, I’ve got a new message/Your life was stripped at adolescence/They want to keep you dumb/They want to make you numb” vocalist Keith Jones screams with incredible ferocity, speaking of the propaganda that is put into our minds when we’re young, the things we’re told… the lies they manage to keep telling to keep you afraid of reaching for your dreams. This track, also, seems to take a religious stance stating “Take it back, your holy name/Look unto me, what do you see?/And when you finally see the light/You won’t have any time to save yourselves”, it’s about reaching for peace, enlightenment and finding your own way… whether through religion or reaching for your dreams, never ceasing until you’ve taken hold of that which you so desperately crave.

“Get Real”, the first single and second track from the album, is clearly one that is very personal to vocalist Keith Jones. He starts off the track screaming “Let’s get real/I am terrified to sing/To be honest, I’m afraid to let go of my need to scream”, recounting his fear each time he’s had to sing in front of a crowd.. telling himself “Take a seat, man, just relax/Don’t freak out, you can handle it!” This is Jones wearing his heart on his sleeve and telling the listener that, if he can overcome that fear, they can overcome ANY fears they may have. No matter who you are, you’re not alone.. even if you feel that you are.

“Never Learn” is another track that hits home for me and, I’m sure, it will hit home for listeners as well. It’s the first song that the band wrote for the EP and also went through the most changes before the release. This song is musically, lyrically and thematically designed to center on the feelings you fight through while going through a harmful relationship, abusive or not. Every bit of this song sticks with you if you’ve suffered through this issue before but, most of all, if you’re suffering through it currently. You don’t have to live through a harmful relationship, you can end it and be free to pursue whatever you wish in life. It starts with a decision, a decision that only you can make. “First thing when I wake up, I wonder should we make up?/’Cause you’ll never learn/And I’m too unhappy to stick around”. No matter how much you love that person, you have to realize when enough is enough. Towards the end of the track, I honestly thought that they had enlisted Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw/Head Automatica/Color Film) because Jones truly sounded like him… which was insane to think about because, honestly, if I could picture anyone doing a guest spot on this track… it would be Daryl, who uses his struggle with Crohn’s Disease to create the same type of positive messages that Wolf:Speak sets out to spread.

“Protest the Privileged” is a track about how the world has wrong gone, how life is meant to be lived free and what we can do to take back our lives. “We all deserve more from these bastards/If life’s a lesson then I’m protesting” are some key lyrics in this track… if you agree with living life without privilege… by all means, continue to do so.. but if you feel that your life should be lived free, separated from the type of dictatorship that we’ve come to know… then stand up and fight for it! Take your life back! It all starts with “we the people”… but it sadly has become “I the government”!

The album closes with “In Light”, a track that was designed to help lift anyone up, regardless of their situation. No matter what you’re facing, it’s designed to let you know that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. This is where Jones and his brothers set out to reveal their intentions, the intention only to help better the world through music. “Please walk with your heads held high/Don’t you ever feel like your life/Isn’t even worth the pain because you know that it is/And you should know by now that you deserve so much more than what you’ve been given!” No matter how lost you feel, no matter how down you are… there’s always someone out there who is worse off than you. There’s always going to be those who seek to help you through it all, especially in music, all you have to do is reach out and find them… whether it be through faith and praying, or seeking out someone who you trust with your life. Find your purpose, strive to better yourself, no matter the consequences!

In Light is a beautiful look into the painful situations that we deal with in life. It’s also a way to take those situations and create a 180-turn out of them, seeing all the light in the darkest moments in life. After all, for every speck of you see in dark… there is a counterpart In Light. I encourage everyone, especially if you’re struggling with something difficult in your life, to pick this album up and listen to the beauty that it creates, listen to/cling to the message it sends…and then share it with a friend. You never know, you could save a life simply by showing them a piece of musical artistry. Pick up your copy of In Light now via the links below!

In Light (Album Stream)

Buy In Light
iTunes | BandCamp