Currently comprised of Adam Gross (guitar and vocals), former frontman of Indianapolis-based band Amo Joy; former Amo Joy bandmate, Ben Leslie (bass); former Raw McCartney member Rachel Enneking (keys); and Gross’ wife Melanie Rau (bass), the Indianapolis-based quartet S.M. Wolf can trace their origins to when the band’s founding member Adam Gross was approached by a friend back in 2013, who was organizing a cassette compilation celebrating that year’s equinox with spontaneous one-time only bands. As the story goes, Gross accepted the offer, holed himself up in his bedroom and then wrote and recorded seven songs, playing all the instruments himself on a 4-track reel-to-reel in about a week. And although initially intended as a one-0ff solo recording project, the project began to receive gig offers after the release of the Spring Equinox compilation — and as a result, Gross realized that the project may have some legs.
Gross enlisted two former Amo Joy bandmates Ben Leslie (bass) and James Furness (drums) and Rachel Enneking (keys) to complete the band’s lineup, and the then-newly formed quartet began playing local shows which attracted the attention of NUVO, the Indianapolis Star and In Store Recordings‘ Derek Vorndran, who offered to release the band’s original tape on 7″ vinyl. Melanie Rau was recruited to replace Furness after he had left both the band and the Indianapolis area.
By 2014, S.M. Wolf began touring both regionally and along the East Coast before the release of their Canine Country Club EP earlier this year through Jurassic Pop Records, the label home of Pfarmers and Varsity. Building on the increasing buzz the band was receiving, Gross returned to the same bedroom he began the project in and wrote and recorded all the instrumentation for the material that would wind up comprising their forthcoming full-length Neon Debris on an 8-track reel-to-reel. The album’s latest single “Lies to Heathens” is a angular and breezily pop-leaning punk song with some incredibly infectious and anthemic hooks. Sonically, the song sounds as though it were indebted to Gang of Four and A Frames — but with a punchy, garage pop sensibility.
The recently released music video features bright neon, rotoscope-like animation by BrainTwins of the band performing the song. If you were a child of the 80s, the animation will likely remind you of the commercials for Lite Brite.