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Friday, September 17, 2010

This Is the Church, This Is Steeple, and This Is Wolf People

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 3:35 PM

steeple.jpg

As we've discussed, the hip thing to do this year is name your band after an Indian. Naming your band "Wolf" Something is beyond passé. Like the world really needs another "Wolf" band...

Or so I thought until I heard Wolf People. I didn't know anything about this band when I put the CD in: where they were from, what kind of music it was. It had a Jagjaguwar label on it, which is an excellent stamp of approval, but that's as much as I knew. Then retro-stoner psychedelic prog began creeping out of the speakers, and I knew immediately that I loved this band.

Wolf People sound like a cross between Cream and Jethro Tull, with a chilly British-Isles folk twinge. But the guitars are heavy and blues-riffy, the drums swing, the lyrics swirl in mythic imagery, and the compositions move adeptly through several disparate pieces. The songs on their debut full-length Steeple bear ridiculous titles like "Cromlech" and "One by One from Dorney Reach," which is simply bad ass. In short, it's a Brit-prog nerd's finest fantasy (I don't not fit into that camp), but it's better than just a retro retread: It's inventive, dynamic, and a lot of the time, it fucking rocks.

Here's the single. It's not the best track on Steeple by a long shot, but it's still terrific. It's the only song on the record with flutes, if that ends up being a little to Tull-y for you.

LISTEN:

Wolf People - "Tiny Circle"

Wolf People come from London, and Steeple was recorded partly in Wales. They're fronted by a chap named Jack Sharp. They don't have any US dates booked yet, but you can expect that to change. They host an excellent blog which includes selections from drummer Tom Watt's vast collection of obscure Finnish records. They're one of my favorite new things I've heard in months. Expect big things. Steeple comes out October 12.

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