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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Cry Wolf - 1990 Crunch
Cry Wolf - 1990 Crunch

ARTIST: Cry Wolf
ALBUM: Crunch
LABEL: Grand Slamm
SERIAL: X2 13050
YEAR: 1990


LINEUP: Timmy Hall - vocals * Steve McKnight - guitars * Phil Deckard - bass * Paul Cancilla - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Road To Ruin * 02 Red Shoes * 03 Face Down In The Wishing Well * 04 Long Hard Road * 05 On The Run * 06 Stop Look And Listen * 07 Pretender * 08 Dirty Dog Night * 09 West Wind Blows * 10 Back To You

This Californian outfit have been labelled as having one of the best demos from an unsigned band back in the late 80's. A tall order indeed, considering the amount of reissued material from that era. I'm not utterly convinced about that 'best demo' award, mainly because the sound quality and production of demo material was pretty suspect for the most part, and twentieth generation cassette tape dubs hardly made for a pristine listening environment. Still, this bunch looked the part, had a pretty good sound, and were championed by the crew at Metal Forces. Formed in 1985, Cry Wolf released two albums during their 80's/90's era: a 1989 debut album for CBS/Epic plus their second, 1990's 'Crunch', released on the Grand Slamm/I.R.S label. If you weren't paying attention closely, you'll notice that the debut is pretty much the same album as 'Crunch', the only difference being three new songs added to the latter album. They've been described as Dokken meets Stryper, though personally I feel both comparisons are way off beam. They're much better than that..

The Songs
The airliner takeoff intro to 'Road To Ruin' is refreshingly familiar, particularly if you remember Asia's 'Countdown To Zero' from their 'Astra' album. Apart from that, we're straight into it with some Californian approved hair metal, Steve McKnight in the same zone as Loudness, Lion and Ratt. It's all solid stuff the guitar sound very melodic and I'm loving it! 'Red Shoes' is party-time central and is a groovey slab of melodic rock. 'Face Down In The Wishing Well' operates in that early White Lion style, one which made them huge names during 1985-1988. Timmy Hall provides the vocal that soars above 'Long Hard Road'. I will admit to not being totally enthralled with his vocals on this album, but he sounds ok on this one. We're back into it with the totally rockin' 'On The Run'. This is more like it. 'Stop Look And Listen' takes a bulls 'n' bullocks approach, sort of like Van Halen during their 'Diver Down' and '1984' era. 'Pretender' is probably the best remembered track from the album, I think this one made it to MTV, and is quite restrained and commercial when compared to something like 'Dirty Dog Night', an absolute rouser of a track. Big fat lines from Phil Deckard introduces 'West Wind Blows', a cool rocker where Timmy Hall sounds uncannily like Michael Sweet. So, perhaps that's where the Stryper comparison kicks in huh? 'Back To You' is the album closer, another fantastic guitar groover

In Summary
It's quite apparent that Cry Wolf really thrive when the blow-torch is applied. They sound less comfortable with slower numbers and ballads though I'm sure that's not what they thought at the time, and also it's really my own opinion that is being brandished here. This would be their last album for qutie some time. As strange as it may seem, Cry Wolf returned in 2010 with a new album 'Twenty-Ten' which was nothing like their past material, and was quite simply, an awful 40+ minutes of dark modern heavy rock that went nowhere fast. Just quite why they bothered is a mystery to me. To be safe, keep to the two albums from 1989-1990 and you won't go wrong and remember a band when they were in their prime.

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#1 | gdazegod on July 12 2012 14:30:51
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#2 | Nick C on July 13 2012 11:04:47
At the time I was never sure about this lot - this album for me had a couple of half decent tracks but the rest I thought was pretty standard fare and mainly filler. Listening now even one of my favourite tracks back then Road to Ruin seems to plod along. I still like Face Down in the Wishing Well and West Wind Blows, but the rest of the album to me still shares the opinion I had when I first heard it. The singer in parts reminds me of Michael Sweet of Stryper a little, in fact the whole sound I would say isn't a million miles away from them but I think Stryper had more of an energy about their music around the time of their first 3 releases.
#3 | reyno-roxx on May 25 2013 17:27:14
I still drag this out for a spin now and again as well as the mini CD of the original demo that saw a limited release in Japan.

Cry Wolf were a terrific live band. A shame they were a little too late to the party by the time they gained a US deal.
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