Premiere: Of Wolves – Mens Rea (Izaguf)

“I write about shit that bothers me, pisses me off,” says Of Wolves guitarist and vocalist Steve, and this much is clear in the band’s music. Anger is in no short supply in today’s world, and it’s certainly a fitting conduit for the Chicago trio’s dynamic strain of caustic, white-knuckle extremity. The band are gearing up to release their latest record through Trepanation Recordings later this year, and today, we’re thrilled to bring you a sneak peak at what it entails with ‘Mens Rea (Izaguf)’.

The track, somewhat of an homage to Fugazi, was initially entitled ‘Hats Off’ before the lyrics were penned. “Once I wrote the lyrics the name ‘Mens Rea’ fell into play,” Steve explains. “I do a lot of research for all our songs and subject matter to help with the writing process, to help get me into the mood and character of it and to make sure I am informed and up to date on the subject matter. That was how I came upon the term.”

Mens rea refers to the knowledge or intent of wrongdoing during a crime, and it would appear the criminal in question here currently sits in the highest office of the band’s home country. “Funny thing is I wrote the lyrics for the first time at least three years ago,” the frontman begins. “It seems most of my songs become more fitting every day. It’s strange to me. Because we consider our music a therapeutic release, I write about shit that bothers me, pisses me off. It’s my soap box. It’s something I can do… have a voice and maybe inspire others. Like those who inspired me, especially at a young age. Like when people say metal or punk shouldn’t be political. I’m like are you that ignorant? Have you heard of Black Sabbath? Have you heard the Dead Kennedys? The list goes on and on, and so many of those bands woke me up and made me realise things way sooner than I would have. They taught me what school and the establishment wouldn’t.”

Surprisingly, however, the words were originally written before Trump became President. “I’m sad to say, but this song really fits more now than when I wrote it,” Steve admits. “Which was probably during the primaries before the 2016 US elections. Sad we are going through similar shit here in the US again with Bernie Sanders. I am A HUGE Bernie supporter. Because I believe we are all one and as people we are only as strong as our weakest link. Leaving behind the elderly, poor, sick and weak is beyond sad – it’s wrong. Morally and ethically wrong. Thankfully many of us do have empathy and care for others and each other. But being content (lazy? also intentional from a place of control) and not paying attention we have allowed the ultra rich hoarding class to use big money as power and put that hoarding ahead of the earth and all its inhabitants, and it has to stop. We greatly outnumber them and it doesn’t matter how much money or influence they have because of it. Simply because, united we can squash, fix and do anything we put our collective minds and energy into.”

“Of course, the powers that be know this and that’s why they have worked so hard for so long to divide us and keep us divided,” he continues. “Simply because we are easier to control this way, while bringing the world as a whole closer and closer each day to slavery. And better yet (for them, through manipulation, propaganda and actual brainwashing), willingly. Wilful slaves. I believe we are going through a spiritual awaking of sorts or a Dawn of a New Age. An awakening. This evolution of our consciousness is bringing us all closer together while we are learning what we actually want as humans. To find true happiness. And that we are all the same in that basic regard. That there is more than our need to survive. But in the meantime they keep feeding us shit and far too many of us keep eating it…”

Check out the enigmatic and ruthless track below.


I tried and they lied
I wont let them take it all from me
I wont stand back or look away
We must all stand together as one
Before there’s nothing left to take
Before there’s nothing left to give

Divide and conquer
Separate and divide

Then we’re done
No care for consequence
Never question make no dent
No respect no care for life
It’s now or nothing, do or die
The Cause and the release of our disease
Thinking that we can bottle our dreams

Divide and conquer
Separate & divide

Only worried about the dollar not worried about tomorrow
They keep on feeding us shit and we keep on eating it
Maybe its easier to be dumb not to give a shit or care but I smell your fear

Divide and conquer
Separate & divide

A paradigm of lies
Our chains are loosened by our minds
No silver spoon
No golden rule
Just a white washed picket fence
Picking sides that don’t exist

Only worried about the dollar not worried about tomorrow
They keep on feeding us shit and we keep on eating it
We keep on feeding the hole

Of Wolves’ new album is coming soon on Trepanation Recordings. In the meantime, check the band out on Facebook.

Words: George Parr

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