Faceless Werewolves

Pardon Me, Are Those Your Claws in My Back? (Super Secret)

SXSW Platters

Faceless Werewolves

Pardon Me, Are Those Your Claws on My Back? (Super Secret)

Though their treble-heavy, Death Valley '69-style warble remains fundamentally sound, the Faceless Werewolves' second album doesn't pack the same adventurous spark of their superlative 2006 debut, Medium Freaky. While Claws attempts to reframe the Austin trio's B-movie guy/gal glam-punk into a more straight-ahead rock context, this back-to-basics bent betrays the band's most alluring qualities. The lead title track is a standard party-down theme song that might work as an encore but feels forced and overlong here. Drummer/vocalist Erica Barton's spurned grrrl talking blues on "Couldn't Believe It Blues" and the tribal thump of "Got Me Howlin'" have their respective charms, but the album's midsection loses itself in a series of songs that run together without leaving a scratch. The Werewolves rekindle modest mojo at the finish line with "Big City Sound," which pulsates on the stripped-down noir vibe of a long-lost X demo. Despite these fleeting enticements, Claws never equals its predecessor's solid footing. (Wednesday, March 12, Beauty Bar, 10pm.)

**

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