BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Blues-inflected duos proliferate like nymphomaniacal rabbits in the ‘aughties, so it takes something special to stand out from the pack these days. Austin’s Ghost Wolves have got that something on their second record Man, Woman, Beast. Outside of a marvelously stripped-down sound featuring Jonathan Wolf on rhythm pound and Carley Wolf on bare-bones riffery and teasing, pouting vocal, the Wolves burst with sheer attitude, the kind of moxie that comes from being young, hungry and not giving a shit whether or not they see the inside of an arena.
“I used to believe in love, but I was wrong,” Carley declares with little remorse in the charging “I Was Wrong,” having already informed us that “I cut off his balls.” “I caught him with another girl and bang bang bang! “she relates later in “Dangerous Moves,” “now I gotta skip town.” Dirty slide powers “Itch” (“the irresistible itch,” no less) and “Gonna Live,” the latter proving the anthem likely to break them into wider renown. “I’m Yo Mudda” signifies like hip-hop but rattles like rockabilly, while “Baby Fang Thang” gets down with its grungy self. “Attack Attack Attack” dispenses with subtlety to for pure blaze, Carley’s frazzled bottleneck and aggressive assertion riding Jonathan’s surging drum kit like a surfer on a shark.
Ending with a trio of in-concert cuts that drive the pair’s live prowess through your skull like a spike, the Ghost Wolves prove one thing beyond dispute: they do not mess around.
DOWNLOAD: “Gonna Live,” “I Was Wrong,” “Itch”