Late last year, before Wyves released their debut album, Spoils Of War, lead singer Corey Gloden asked me what song I would pick for their single other than "Bitch Has Got Problems." I didn't even have to think about it, because although I had been waiting for years for a recorded version of "Bitch Has Got Problems," the other song that immediately screamed out as a single from the album was the title track. They went with "Puppycat" for the first single, and while it obviously wasn't my choice, I have to commend them on that pick, because on the album it doesn't necessarily stand out from the other tracks, but as a single, it's magnificent. Now, after releasing their album, the fantastic video for "Puppycat," two live performance videos for "Bitch Has Got Problems" and "Jump Into The Water," Wyves is finally releasing "Spoils Of War" as a single, and New Times is premiering the corresponding music video.
Wyves consists of frontman Corey Gloden (vocals), with Nick Sterling (guitar), Brenden McBride (bass), and Evan Knisely (drums), all local music scene veterans. Together, they produce some of the purest rock 'n' roll in the city — straight-up fully charged electric rock on a blues backbone. Wyves produces an intense live show, and its debut album is one of the best of the year. Mind you, they are for fans of what I like to call "hooligan rock," which includes the Replacements, the Faces, Exile-era Stones, and the like — loud and fast, with catchy hooks and a visceral snarl.
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"Spoils of War" kicks off with Knisely's bombastic drums. Then, a swooning guitar line comes on, and the understated bass holds it all together. Gloden follows this all, and he catches a place in his voice that somehow crosses Faces-era Rod Stewart with early Bruce Springsteen. At the golden length of three-and-a-half minutes, it is the perfect rock song, with a catchy-as-hell hook that hits your hips directly then makes its way to the rest of you. I don't even like guitar solos, and Sterling's got a brilliant one here that kills me every single time. From beginning to end, it never lets up, and the crowning crescendo is left humming in your soul long after the song ends.
The video, expertly directed and shot by Cory Davis of Yellowbox Films, looks like how a video would look had MTV existed in 1972. The film treatment of the band playing in a warehouse, with shots of the members and artsy content overlays featuring the fascinating and beautiful models, looks like the kind of video Keith Richards would have chosen for "Happy." It fits the music perfectly, but not only that, it fits the band. Wyves is starting to look like one of the most entertaining rock outfits in town. Like a lot of the more successful acts in Phoenix, they have their own style, an actual aesthetic. It's appealing, since watching indie bands in cargo shorts gets old. Wyves looks like an actual rock band doing their rock video thing, and the results are pretty damn fine.
Director Davis is quickly developing an impressive signature style. With each film he puts his shoulder to, he seems to reveal a little more about his vision as an auteur. While the band and the director are great, a shout out must be given to Zuri Deva and Nataly Arambula, who lend the video their powerful visual presence.