Wolf People - Fain

The way we werewolf

Strictly in terms of cool and
irregular influences, Wolf
People are a crate-digger’s
dream. Albums by May Blitz,
Mighty Baby and Third World
War all nurture a commendably
unlikely skill-set for any young
band to possess, but what
emerges stakes out its very
own doggedly idiosyncratic
territory. For all the time they
evidently spend looking over
their shoulder, Wolf People
give no impression of being
beholden to easy nostalgia
and slavish mimicry.

Fain, the band’s second
album, combines the stern
harmonies and apocalyptic
dread of the bleakest English
folk-rock with Can’s inscrutable
emotional neutrality and
towering fuzztone tsunamis of
avant-noise. This potentially
unsustainable mixture could
appear mannered and
unconvincing in less capable
hands, but Wolf People invest
every glowering note with
a watchful intensity that
signifies their unswerving
dedication. Whether it’s the
Richard Thompson-grade
desolation of Thief, the flinty
Green Manalishi riffing of NRR
or the stark Little Johnny
Jewel aridity of Answer, the
players are permanently on
the same page. And they’re
real players too, frequently
revealing a dauntless
improvisatory fervour that
hasn’t passed this way often
enough in recent years. When
The Fire Is Dead In The Grate,
with its double-helix guitar
parts, could even coax
residual Wishbone Ash fans
into getting with the
programme.  

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Jagjaguwar | JAG 230 (CD / LP)

Reviewed by Oregano Rathbone
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