Shortly after ditching Sub Pop Records, the Shins’ frontman James Mercer parted ways with his band as well and found himself new hired guns — something we criticized in our thumbs-down review of the band’s Toronto gig in the fall. Well, former keyboardist Marty Crandall clearly hasn’t been wasting his time since exiting the Shins, since he has started a new band called Sad Baby Wolf with fellow Shins alumnus Neal Langford on guitar.
The Albuquerque, NM-based group — which also features Maury Crandall on drums, Jason Ward on guitar/vocals, and Sean McCullough on bass — have unveiled their first release, a single containing two songs: “8th Level” and “Survival Guide.” According to a press release, the former is a “boisterously rock-rooted stomper” while the latter is “psychedelic” and “drone-rock inspired.”
Despite being billed as 8th Level b/w Survival Guide, this looks to be a digital-only release, since it’s said to be “in the same vein as a classic seven-inch.” You can stream both songs below via the band’s Bandcamp.
Don’t be surprised if you hear some hints of the Shins here, since “there may be some familiar harmonies and/or guitar tricks that are sure to make those nostalgic hearts grow fond.”
These songs were recorded at Silver Chord Sound studio. They will also appear on Sad Baby Wolf’s debut LP, due out in the spring.