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Wolf People : Fain

Although many bands still draw heavily on the sounds of the swinging Sixties, you don’t often come across a group as firmly rooted in that decade as young London/ Bedford/ North Yorkshire quartet Wolf People. Even those most obviously indebted to the Flower Power era – garage rockers from America’s West coast like Thee Oh Sees and the Fresh & Onlys – incorporate elements of later movements like punk, goth and Krautrock, but in terms of both influences (the English psychedelic, R&B and folk-rock scenes) and the actual sound of their music, these kids appear to exist in a hermetically sealed bubble suspended forever in time somewhere near Woodstock. On second studio album Fain (out April 29 via Jagjaguwar), as on its predecessor Steeple and the early singles/ odds & sods collection Tidings,  lyrics and melodies tend mainly toward the traditional minor-key folk favoured by the likes of Pentangle and Fairport Convention (“Thief” recounts various traditional tales of bandits and highwaymen), whilst the trebly, duelling guitars of Joe Hollick and frontman Jack Sharp and the sturdy but punchy rhythms provided by Dan Davies and drummer Tom Watt suggest Cream jamming with Richard Thompson. When things occasionally verge on “heavy” – fantastically out-there closer “NRR” – they stay within the orbit of bands like Black Sabbath and the Groundhogs, the immediate precursors of what we now know as metal, and the warm, spacious production – no samplers, no synths,  just live, in-the-room jams – achieves the kind of faux-authenticity Jack White would sell his sister/ lover for. Sharp and friends’ commitment to their singular musical vision really is admirable, but Fain – with its nimble mix of hypnotic stoner blues workouts and electrifying folk-pop jolts – also helps to establish Wolf People as one of the tightest and most exciting bands in Britain right now. Listen to “All Returns” below.

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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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