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Amon Düül II - Wolf City CD (album) cover

WOLF CITY

Amon Düül II

 

Krautrock

3.92 | 201 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Amon Duul II: Wolf City [1972]

Rating: 5/10

Wolf City shows Amon Duul II continuing on the increasingly commercial path that began on Carnival in Babylon. These two albums serve as almost direct companions; they were released in the same year, have similar lineups, and exhibit the same style of music. This style can be most fittingly described as straightforward psychedelic rock peppered with a few sparse hints of experimentation. This album faces the same problems that its predecessor did. It tries to merge experimentation with commercialism, to the point where the band seems unsure of exactly what style they want to be playing. It also tries to pack all sorts of musical diversity into its brief 34-minute run-time; as a result, the album ends up sounding disjointed, directionless, and disparate.

At only seven minutes, "Surrounded by the Stars" is the longest piece on the album. There is some excellent violin work to be found here, but that is not enough to distract me from Renate's terrible vocals. "Green-Bubble-Raincoated-Man" is a hard-rock song with miserable vocals and tired guitar. The groovy bass-line is the only thing that saves this track. "Jail-House Frog" is the definite highlight of the album. The main riff is simple yet memorable, and the jazzy later half features some fantastic sax and piano. The title track is a middle-of-the-road piece. There's nothing to get excited about here, but there's nothing to hate, either. "Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse" is a light instrumental with tribal percussion, strumming electric guitar, and shiny synths. This is yet another average track. I can't conjure up any sort of emotional opinion about it. "Deutsch Nepal" is a short march-like piece with some interesting Mellotron. Other than that, however, it's entirely uninteresting. The closer "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge" is a folky track that almost goes into full-on bluegrass territory. Despite some nice violin work, there's little to write about here.

There really isn't anything about Wolf City that is worth getting excited about. It's an average album by every definition of the term. Every interesting musical idea that the band presents fails to develop itself, so the dull moments seem to permeate the majority of this short piece of work. "Jail-House Frog" is the only consistently interesting and enjoyable track on the album. Also, Renate's vocals are absolutely terrible. This woman has a piercing and unmelodious voice that is an absolute chore to listen to. I understand that such things are entirely subjective, but I can't help but feel strongly about them. Fortunately, though, her vocals only appear on two of these songs. Overall, Wolf City is a continuation of the downward spiral that Amon Duul II was experiencing at the time. It's an uninteresting and average work that is saved from total mediocrity by only a few desperate factors.

Anthony H. | 3/5 |

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