Matt Sweeney and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy: Superwolves (Drag City) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, October 4th, 2023  

Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy


Drag City

Apr 30, 2021 Issue #68 - Japanese Breakfast and HAIM (The Protest Issue) Bookmark and Share

With an artist as prolific as Will Oldham has been for the last few decades, it becomes difficult to weigh their new works against anything but their past output. There’s clearly a demand in place to support such a rapid stream of recordings: an audience (collectors perhaps?) who will grab anything new regardless of whether it’s as strong as the ones that have come before. If that’s not you, though, this makes it easy to be selective—if, say, you don’t like the direction of a particular record, no bother, since another new album will be along to take its place in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. With that in mind, Superwolves is one that the less completist fans can probably pass on.

Superwolves is a sequel to Oldham and Matt Sweeney’s prior collaboration, Superwolf, released 16 (!) years ago. The creation process for that cult record was repeated here, with Oldham delivering lyrics to the ex-Chavez guitarist, who composed the music before the two came together to fine-tune and record the combined results. They’re a highly complementary pair, but their contributions don’t meld in as casual and relaxed a manner as what made their now near-legendary, earlier team-up feel like a warm fleece blanket. Opener “Make Worry For Me” lays Sweeney’s warm guitar tones beneath an ominous-sounding chorus to create something that sounds surprisingly menacing. In “Hall of Death,” it’s whipped up to an almost psychedelic frenzy. Some tracks come close to capturing that cozy, Superwolf magic, like the easygoing “Resist the Urge” and “My Body Is My Own,” but in too many there seems to have been an urge to make the songs larger and bolder than necessary. It makes those tracks more abrasive and loud than what many would probably expect from this unexpected follow-up. (

Author rating: 5/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 5/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.