Lupine Howl formed in Bristol, U.K. in 1999. Sean Cook (Vocals, Bass, Harmonica), Mike Mooney (Guitars) and Damon Reece (Drums), frequently described as, "The greatest live band in Britain", were unceremoniously fired from Spiritualized after long-running arguments over absurdly low levels of pay and 'missing' money. Aware that there was no future in Spiritualized, Cook, Mooney and Reece had already begun to work on ideas for LH before they were sacked.
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After a brief spell working with Massive Attack,the group recorded their first single, 'Vaporizer' in October 1999. Vaporizer was released on their own label, 'Vinyl Hiss', in January 2000. Describing the record as, "Blistering", the NME gave it Single of the Week and it sold out in a matter of days. After a second single, 'Bronzage' (a dark anthem to the media manipulation of drugs casualty, Leah Betts), and a legendary show at The Garage in London (where they were joined on guitar and keyboards by Portishead's Adrian Utley and John Baggott), the band signed a worldwide deal with Beggars Banquet.
The release of their first LP, 'The Carnivorous Lunar Activities of Lupine Howl', saw them team up with drummer Jon Mattock (formally of Spiritualized, The Breeders, The Perfect Disaster and Spacemen 3). The first LP also saw the band split the critics into two camps. Those who had deified Spiritualized seemed to have difficulty coping with the co ntrast of the darker, more irreverent sound and vibe of LH. Those who felt (particularly since the departure of Cook, Mooney and Reece) that, "Spiritualized are to gospel what UB40 are to reggae" saw the 'carnivorous' new LP as, "A cathedral high flag of intoxicating noise that spins, twists and moves and ultimately baffles in its 'how did they do that?' loose brilliance - psychedelic soul for the new millenium."
The band hit the road in support of the new LP in April 2001 (joined by Alex Lee on guitar), returning to the tiny clubs they hed left behind years ago. The absurdity of the situation was not lost on the critics as LH stunned small venue crowds, tearing into the toilets with equal amounts of relish and venom. As the Melody Maker described one show at the Manchester Roadhouse, "It's like having The Stone Roses playing in your living room."
The end of 2001 saw LH return to the studio to begin work on their second LP, 'The Bar at the End of the World'. Seemingly a more gentle record than the 'Carnivorous Lunar Activities...', its use of acoustic guitars and string quartets belied a subtle menace as it celebrated the beauty of a random existenece tempered only by the certainty of inevitable death. The record was greeted with surprising acclaim given the band's fateful ability to confound the critics and remain resolutely out of step with prevailing trends. Their refusal to paint a picture of the world either as a huge party or a sentimental journey is always going to make a wide acceptance of their music difficult. The sarcastic nonchalance with which they regard their own history and their ambivalence to the music industry, the current fashions and their own audience is never going to be a winning formula with those who feel that these things should be taken seriously.
In October 2002, LH went on the road in support of their second LP where they were joined on guitar by Ian Maclaren (formally of 'Sunna'). Once again, they augmented their live reputation, twisting the new songs into a vicious onslaught (despite minimal production) - their degenerate web of sound alienating and enthralling in equal measure - leaving one journalist famously proclaiming, "I don't know what it is, but it's weird and it's pissed off."
LH are currently working on their third LP with long-time production collaborator, Lee Shephard.
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