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Speedwolf – Ride With Death

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Wouldn’t life be better with a soundtrack? Many of us connect memories with certain songs or albums we’ve heard and loved (or hated) over the years. Remember the teenage years when no one understood you? Life Of Agony’s River Runs Red. There was the day you figured out who your real friends are; Neurosis’ Through Silver In Blood. Then there was that one time you chugged a bottle of Jack, drove your Harley through the back door of a whorehouse and started a brawl with every patron inside. Speedwolf’s debut full-length Ride With Death was on the jukebox for that one.

Following a 2009 demo that ranks among this writer’s personal favorites, every one of these dozen tracks lives up to its creators’ moniker: hairy, fast, reckless, hungry, and lean. The four original songs from Bark At The Poon are all here, cleaned up just enough for clarity’s sake. (Replacing the sampled wolf howl in “I Am The Demon” with a cowbell? Love it.) New additions like “Out On Bail” and “I Can’t Die” reinforce the Motorhead-meets-Discharge vibe. Drummer Richie Tice deserves special praise; you don’t often hear precise fills or double-kick in punk-fueled mayhem like this. Closer “Denver 666″ is a good reminder that Speedwolf is telling us to have fun now, ask questions later. Or not at all. If nothing on this album compels you to bomb a skateboard downhill, start a circle pit, or at least crack a cold one, check your pulse.

— Chris Rowella

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Speedwolf – “Denver 666″

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Hells Headbangers (CD, LP)

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