EP Review: Arden and the Wolves – Who Can You Trust

If one digs deep into the music on Arden and the Wolves’ Who Can You Trust, a clear occult undercurrent reveals itself. That’s certainly a somewhat unconventional perspective to take, but the fact is that most everything else about this five-song EP released in January 2018 is quite accessible and (in a good way) mainstream rock.

Vocalist Arden Leigh has a strong set of pipes, and she delivers her lyrics ins an assured (yet never overwrought or needlessly theatrical) manner. The tunes are sturdy, hooky and memorable, and Leigh’s instrumental support – guitarist Marko Jankovic, bassist Rick Brandt and drummer Nick Mason (no, not Pink Floyd’s percussionist) – is rock-solid as well.

Leigh has things on her mind: in this #metoo era, sentiments like “I’m not your bitch / I’m not your muse / I’m not a secret you can keep” (from “Another Year of Rain”) resonate in a way they might not have even a mere year ago. Her perspective that she (and by extension all women) must be accepted and treated as men’s equals is a message that deserves to be communicated and received. That it’s done within the context of an alluring rock tune is all the better.

Who Can You Trust is the third EP from the Los Angeles-based group, and its previous releases – 2012’s Break Me In and It Looks Like Trouble from 2014 – offer more along the same musical and lyrical lines. But Who Can You Trust is the most fully-developed collection of songs from Arden Leigh and her band mates.