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Portland Mercury

Introducing Marty Crandall’s Terrific New Band: Sad Baby Wolf

Posted

by Ned Lannamann

on Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 11:29 AM

sadbabywolf.jpg

The days of putting “Wolf” in the band name are not over. But in this case, that’s totally okay, because here’s Sad Baby Wolf, the new band of former Shin Marty Crandall, who was “let go” from the band back in 2010. (Crandall’s history has been well documented on this site.)

Crandall lived here in Portland for a while, but he’s since moved back to his home town of Albuquerque and joined forces with another former Shin, Neal Langford, to form Sad Baby Wolf. Marty’s brother Maury Crandall plays drums, Sean McCullough plays bass, and Jason Ward plays guitar. I do not know what instruments all those spooky little ghosts in the picture play.

LISTEN:

Sad Baby Wolf – “8th Level”

And here’s a song! And it’s great! It will appear on Sad Baby Wolf’s upcoming debut album, which comes out later this year. I think this is excellent—a nuggety, tumbling pop-rock number with fine guitar work and production that gets more ethereal as the song goes on. You can also hear another Sad Baby Wolf song over on Under the Radar.

With Crandall’s band as well as another former Shin, Dave Hernandez (also of Scared of Chaka), doing fine things with his band Little Cuts, the Shins are turning into one of those groups for whom Pete Frame could diagram a family tree.

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Some Kind of Awesome

Please enjoy the first two tracks from Albuquerque-band Sad Baby Wolf: “8th Level”and “Survival Guide”. The band is comprised of former Shins members Marty Crandall, Neal Langford along with their longtime friend Jason Ward and Marty’s brother Maury Crandall. What started as something thrown together quickly in 2010 for an old friend in the Albuquerque music scene’s benefit concert quickly turned into the real deal soon after that four song set. In addition to these two songs, the band is excpected to release their debut full length in the spring of 2012 complete with a round of gigs, so be on the lookout for more information. 

It would be hard not to say that these songs definitely have some Shins influence to them, but fortunately it’s just a slight twinge. Marty does an excellent job picking up lead vocals for the band and the overall sound is twangy and warm. I’m really looking forward to hear what else they have in store.

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Music Emmisions

Sad Baby Wolf – 8th Level / Survival Guide

Sad Baby Wolf - 8th Level / Survival Guide

Album Details

After departing The Shins under whatever terms one may assume, lead singer Marty Crandall and a few of his old Albuquerque friends dedicated themselves to a benefit concert for another old friend. Needing a couple of original tracks to round out their performance, Marty, brother Maury on drums, former Shins guitarist Neil Langford and friend Jason Ward quickly and effortlessly produced these two tracks in short order. Under the heading of Sad Baby Wolf, the band are looking to release their full-length debut in spring of 2012. These samples certainly do whet the appetite for more, as unexpected as they are in their style.

Unexpected because, of course, one might expect to hear much of the Shins in the sound of a band comprised of 50% former Shins members. But, to me I am getting a much more aggressive approach from Sad Baby Wolf. "8th Level" is pleasant enough, drifting on a wonderful guitar melody courtesy of Neil while Marty’s sharp voice counterpoints in fine fashion. Very catchy, with some twang and tempo nods to their former outfit, but ultimately different enough to not be considered apeing. "Survival Guide" is the better of the two in my opinion, with an interesting mix of thumping bass and dissonant guitar runs that mesh beneath Marty’s potent vocals/lyrics. Despite the pop-orientation of 8th Level, it is Survival Guide that has "hit" written all over it. It meanders long enough to flesh itself out, and ends on a bombastic and overblown note that has left me absolutely drooling over what might come from this ambitious project.

I highly suggest to any Shins fans that they check these tracks out, which can be listened to and downloaded directly from the band’s facebook page. "Survival Guide" alone has me anticipating what’s to come next, and I think many will agree. 

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Exclaim.ca

Dec 02 2011
Former Shins Members Reconvene as Sad Baby Wolf

By Alex HudsonShortly 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.

 

 

Today we’ve got the premiere of two songs by Sad Baby Wolf, a new band which features former Shins members Marty Crandall and Neal Langford, along with Jason Ward, Sean McCullough, and Crandall’s brother, Maury Crandall. The Albuquerque-based band features Crandall on vocals and have an easy-going, guitar-driven rock vibe.

The band’s debut EP is due out in early spring of 2012 and we have two tracks to premiere from it. We already posted “8th Level” here and now we have the B-side “Survival Guide.”

Download ”Survival Guide” below.

(www.facebook.com/sadbabywolf)

Listen to/download - Sad Baby Wolf: “Survival Guide”

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Under The Radar

 

MP3 Premiere: Sad Baby Wolf (Featuring Former Shins Members) – “8th Level”

Debut EP Due Spring 2012

Dec 01, 2011By Laura Studarus

 

 

Today we’ve got the premiere of two songs by Sad Baby Wolf, a new band which features former Shins members Marty Crandall and Neal Langford, along with Jason Ward, Sean McCullough, and Crandall’s brother, Maury Crandall. The Albuquerque-based band features Crandall on vocals and have an easy-going, guitar-driven rock vibe.

The band’s debut EP is due out in early spring of 2012 and we have two tracks to premiere from it. First up is “8th Level” and then click here to download the B-side “Survival Guide.”

Download “8th Level” below.

(www.facebook.com/sadbabywolf)

Listen to/download - Sad Baby Wolf: “8th Level”