There is something utterly undefinable about the music of England's Wolf People. The mix of folk and metal sounds like an unholy one when described on paper but, truly, the cocktail works on the band's new album, Ruins, out Friday via Jagjaguwar.
The 4 men in Wolf People -- Jack Sharp (guitar, vocal), Tom Watt (drums), Dan Davies (bass), Joe Hollick (guitar) -- create songs that sound, oddly, like amplified versions of Fairport Convention numbers. If that description makes you think that this whole thing is going to creak like "The Battle of Evermore", you're wrong. While that Sandy Denny/Zeppelin standard retains a certain appeal, the songs here on Ruins feel less classic rock and far more modern. The opening one-two-punch of "Ninth Night" and "Rhine Sagas" pushes things refreshingly in the direction of old Cream or Cult jams. That said, the freshness of the blending of folk motifs here with blues-y hooks is invigorating. The lyrical "Kingfisher" offers up the strongest melody on this record, while "Crumbling Dais" adds a touch of early Sabbath to the spry hook as something sinister seems on the verge of overtaking the cut. Ruins ends with the superb "Glass", part Pentangle, part King Crimson. You're probably never heard any other band like Wolf People, at least not in this century.
Ruins, out Friday via Jagjaguwar, is such a unique mix of folk and metal flavors that I can simply urge you to get it as soon as possible. Pre-order it now, frankly. This is music unlike anything else you are listening to now, I can assure you of that.
More details on Wolf People via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Uncredited photo from band's Facebook page].