Live Review: Wolves at The Hotel Café in Hollywood

Material: Wolves combines pop, rock and urban/rap with high energy and youthful lyrics. The Hollywood-handsome trio uses an electric guitar and a standard drum kit to create a room-filling sound that moves on driving beats, dynamic vocals and the charisma of lead singer Marc Avery. Songs stay closely within the pop-rock tempo lane with occasional forays into melodic love tunes and rap. Their set included “Animal” and the sing-along perfect “Shoulder to Shoulder.” Lyrics are centered on love–– found, lost, and current––plus lots of sex; nothing deep or revelatory, but all great fun.

Musicianship: This show did not utilize keyboards, limiting the range of musicianship, and it resulted in a slight, two-dimensional garage rock feel. Carney’s guitar was precise but not flashy, except when needed. He provided rhythm riffs, note-bending melodies and hot licks, all with journeyman skill. Sands’ uncomplicated beats and fills never overpowered the vocals. He was on the money, except for a false start for “Animal,” which gave Avery an opportunity to flash his million-watt grin as they started again.

Performance: Wolves knows how to energize an audience, radiate love and joy from the stage, and engage fans. From Avery’s set-starting “how you’all doin?” to his final drawn-out note in “Hold On For the Night” with his shirt off (at the audience’s request) and arms spread, he was performance personified. He is a master at improvising music and conversation on the run, giving the band a strong personal authenticity. The rawness of the lyrics and their sing-along design––which worked well––added up to a rousing performance.

Summary: Formed in 2017, Wolves is young, talented, attractive, energetic, and has the foundation to grow. Each of the players is musically proficient and ready to add a new level of sophistication without losing any of their enthusiasm. As they add depth to their instrumentation and fill out their sound, broaden their lyrics to include more radio-ready songs and more lyrics with their own backstories, they will easily go to the next level and take adoring fans with them…especially if Avery takes his shirt off at every performance.

The Hotel Café Hollywood, CA
Contact: [email protected]
Web: thebandwolves.com
Players: Marc Avery, lead vocals; Sean Carney, guitar, backing vocals, keyboards;
Rockwell Sands, drums, guitars keyboard, backing vocals