We warned you this was coming. You’ve had your chance to prepare. Steeple is the first album proper from UK’s Wolf People and represents the emergence of a fully fledged band from the fragmented, haunted bedroom meanderings of their Tidings singles compilation, released earlier this year. Recorded in a converted chicken barn on the grounds of a 17th century Welsh mansion, Steeple takes on a heavier sound while maintaining the arabesque electric guitars, groove-loaded drums and ethereal vocals that characterised its predecessor.
Cheerfully aware of the English rock band cliché of “getting it together in the country,” the quartet did it anyway, inspired by the rural isolation of West Wales to conjure shifting rhythms, entrancing folksong and smoke-fogged, riff-stoked jams. >From the stuttered, flute-led earworm hook of “Tiny Circle” to the churning, twisted ball of metal that is “One By One From Dorney Reach,” Steeple sounds as massive as the setting in which it was laid to tape and is full of the nuggets that many a rock fan spend lifetimes among crates in search of.
And in true Wolf People fashion, the video accompaniment for “Tiny Circle” brilliantly confuses the viewer/listener as to what era this art is coming to them from.
Steeple captures Jagjaguwar’s first UK-based rock band in metamorphosis, bridging frontman Jack Sharp’s earlier solo efforts and the speaker-shearing attack developed in concert over the past four years. It is a testament as to why Wolf People has become a go-to pairing for rock bands in the know traveling through London. Wolf People has shared a stage with Dinosaur Jr, Dungen, Tinariwen, The Besnard Lakes and Lightning Dust. In 2010, the band will appear at two of UK’s lauded festivals, Green Man and End of the Road.
Proud of their heritage, both musical and cultural, Wolf People’s vision faithfully reflects the myriad environments the group’s members move between — the British countryside and various cities (Bedford, London and North Yorkshire) — while offering a universally appreciable set of songs for this age or any other.
Wolf People is Jack Sharp, Joe Hollick, Dan Davies and Tom Watt.
Wolf People Tour Dates:
Aug 21, 2010 Green Man Festival — Brecon Beacons, Wales
Sept. 10, 2010 End of the Road Festival — Dorset, UK