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LIVE REVIEW: Sad Baby Wolf 2/20/12 @ Bottom of the Hill

‘As one door closes, another door opens.’ This saying rings true to the last two years of Marty Crandall’s life and the unlikely formation of Sad Baby Wolf.

After being ‘let go’ from The Shins in 2010, Crandall returned home to Albuquerque to lick his wounds. Later that year, Crandall formed Sad Baby Wolf with fellow-former Shins guitarist, Neil Langford.

Since SBW’s ‘homecoming’ formation the five-piece rock/folk band have released two singles – ‘8th Level’ and ‘Survival Guide,’ both premiered on Under The Radar – listen below

In addition to their early commercial success, the Albuquerque locals have gained 22,000 air plays and feature spots on AOL Music and We Are Hunted.

Admittedly, when SBW walked on stage to a packed Bottom of The Hill crowd, I was expecting to hear the familiar pop indie sounds of The Shins. To my surprise, I was treated to a stripped down aggressive rock sound.

Halfway through the set, Crandall announced it was the band’s first live performance outside of Alberqueque – yet another surprise as they played with the chemistry of a band that has toured all over the country.

Guitarist, Langford and bassist, McCullough meshed well together allowing Crandall to steal the spotlight with his sharp vocal delivery and catchy melodies.

8th Floor is the standout track for SBW. The 12 string acoustic intro builds into the verse melody, reminiscent of the Gallagher Brothers.

SBW plan to release their debut LP in the Spring of 2012. In my opinion, Spring is the perfect time to uncage these upbeat catchy songs.

Fans of The Shins, The Hold Steady and Beady Eye should look into SBW.

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