Dumb Wolves, “Booking Tethers”

JP Basileo

Dumb Wolves

Given the supportive nature of saxophone use in genres like jazz, or funk, or rockabilly, its destructive, anxiety-ridden inclusion in Brooklyn trio Dumb Wolves turns any contextual or historical understanding of the instrument on its head. The project, made up of Ed Chittenden, Ben Jaffe and John Grewell, displays a full understanding of instrumentation in a way that exploits this unnerving trait. Their track, “Booking Tethers”, off their debut self-titled EP, out last month on new cassette label GP Stripes, incorporates a gruesome crescendo of drone and sax alternations, with Chittenden’s howls penetrating through the haze. Jaffe, also of Pill, utilizes a mic’d tenor saxophone, played through an amp specially tweaked for added skin-crawling static feedback and shrill tones, like the dry-heave of audio equivalent of color draining from your face upon seeing something disturbing. And after the realization that you’re treading uncharted tonal waters, the listening experience is made all the more jarring when dramatic swells and piercing vocals are added to the mix.

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