“Released from the burden of expectation, that theme of acceptance combined with rapid stickwork, howling guitars and driving bass lines means NIL goes close to Wolf & Cub’s best work to date.” – AU Review
“Though Wolf & Cub’s tunes retain some of their magic once recorded, you can’t replace the energy and sheer forcefulness they generate in a live setting.” – The Music
“[NIL] plays like a highlight reel of what they do best: brooding guitar riffs, agile rhythm section, palpable mood swings and effects-shrouded vocals.” – NME
Today Wolf & Cub, on the first anniversary of the release for their acclaimed fourth album NIL, announce the release of new single ‘Blue State – Live’, the first taste of the band’s forthcoming live EP, Dusk at the Watagan Forest Motel which is set for release on Friday 10 December via Part Time Records / Remote Control Records. On April 16th, 2021, in between shows on their most recent Australian tour, the band travelled to a remote location in NSW with the idea to perform and record a selection of live tracks from their recently released fourth album, NIL. Creating a makeshift live setup in the carpark of the Watagan Forest Inn Motel – a road stop motel attached to Brunkerville Caltex in Mulbring, the band powered through a tight but visceral set for a small audience of local residents and passers-by. Leading with live rendition of ‘Blue State’ – the celebrated first single from their Air Award nominated album NIL, it serves as the perfect appetiser for the forthcoming release. Announcing itself with that familiar, fantastically tough baseline this live recording retains the swagger and bravado of its recorded counterpart, whilst also injecting it with a sense of danger and urgency that immediately elevates the South Australian Music Award‘Best Song’ nominated track to a bold new level. Expertly recorded by Wolf & Cub bass player, Wade Keighran and mixed by drummer, Jonathan Boulet, Dusk at the Watagan Forest Motel is the perfect complement to their highly acclaimed fourth album as it captures the band at their most compelling and showcases their strength as one of Australia’s best live acts; it also marks the first time in the band’s long history that a recording of their magnetic live performance has been recorded and released officially on vinyl. In addition to the audio recording, Wolf & Cub also present a short film of the complete performance directed by David Robinson-Smith who the band have previously worked with on videos for previous singles, ‘Blue State’ and ‘Close to the Edge’. Taking influence from the 1989 short film Elephant by Alan Clarke, the single-camera extended clip is the final installment in a trilogy of videos that make up the overall visual component of the band’s 2020 album, NIL.
On working with David, Joel says, “getting the right visual element to complement our music has always beensomething we’ve strived pretty hard for on each release. We got very lucky with David because right from the start, when discussing ideas for the first video (Blue State) we knew that we’d found someone that we could trust to deliver work that fit an aesthetic we were aiming for”.
In describing the initial stages of conceptualising Dusk at the Watagan Forest Motel, Joel states, “David was pretty particular about wanting to shoot the whole thing during golden hour (last hour of light before sunset) so because that window was kind of small, the pressure was on for us to play well and not mess up as soon as cameras were rolling. This was also exacerbated by the fact that we didn’t have enough budget for additional lighting so once the sun had set we wouldn’t be able to continue filming or come back the next day.” In explaining the title Joel says, “The title relates toDavid’s insistence on filming during that time of the day, hence Dusk at the Watagan Forest Motel.” Joel continues: “David was heavily influenced by the short film ‘Elephant’ so he thought applying that one-shot, single camera concept to a short concert film would be an interesting approach. Essentially each track was its own a one-shot, short film, so that again added to the pressure for us to not fuck up”.