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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Actually the most interesting reason to check out this group is their line-up . Everyone of them will pop-up elsewhere - Etheridge in Soft Machine , Mosley in Marillion , Messakar in Caravan . This sort-of-supergroup-to-be does not get much credit with me , however. Not that the music is bad , far from it , it has some cool-hard-AOR-melodic prog that will certainly appeal 70's completist - to which I almost qualify but in knowledge only because there is no way I will rebuy those album - maybe one day I will do a compilation of those three albums on a CDR ( a friend has them on Cd ). As you might guess WOLF is Darryl Way's group and it sure does sound like it as his violin and kb are all-over the place. He was also a big influence into early Curved Air with Monkman as the other writer - he left after three or four albums and Curved Air was never the same after. This first album has only two or three tracks that are sung and there is sufficient space for the apt musicians for some great interplay but to me the problem is not enough creative songwriting. The last two tracks on side 2 are my faves.
Report this review (#33000)
Posted Thursday, October 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best album of Darryl Way"s wolf, this album is the most hard of the three albums with good classical influence. many great moments to enjoy great violin solos and furios Ian Mosley's drums (Marilion member, i don't believe).
Report this review (#33001)
Posted Tuesday, January 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars WOW! When a progressive rock band has violin and guitars in his music, usually they are not played at the same time. In fact, they are simultaneously played here, and this really contributes to give Wolf a very personal trademark. This not very well known prog band gives us here a wonderful album, full of impressive violin, electric + acoustic guitars and dynamic & punchy bass! No one else than Ian Mosley himself(Marillion)plays the drums here: they are very well played and quite complex. Everything is very well synchronized, like Gentle Giant. It sounds a bit like Curved air, Caravan, Happy the man, Gentle Giant and Frank Zappa, but this album has really its own sound, and this makes the band very interesting. The record is mainly instrumental, and the keyboards are surprisingly rare, simple and discreet: they mainly consist in electric piano. This record is heavier and more symphonic and straightforward than "Canis Lupus": there are some very seriously loaded parts, very progressive, and the violin is more omnipresent.
Report this review (#60065)
Posted Saturday, December 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The second work released in 1974 "Saturation Point". The style changed from the former work a little. Hard lock instrumental became an album at the center. It is a performance sharpened though it is not heavy. "Toy Symphony" is a symphonic number of bolero styles to which the violin is greatly taken an active part. It is the listening one the maximum in the album. The battle of John Etheridge and Darryl Way is thrilling. And, the drum of Ian Mosley is wonderful in the performance with the throb feeling.
Report this review (#60127)
Posted Sunday, December 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What a stellar line-up of excellent musicians, led by the crafty virtuosity of Darryl Way of Curved Air legend, with future Soft Machine guitarist John Etheridge , future Caravan and The Strawbs bassist Dek Messecar and future Trace and Marillion drumster Ian Mosley. So what do we get? Some blazing string driven things with very few keyboards, the six string electric in battle with (at time against) the four string chin job! "The Ache" is a fiery instrumental opener that showcases Etheridge's rather tectonic playing as well as Way's capacity to parallel the emotional zeal with seeming ease. "Two-Sisters" leaves the station as a pleasantly sung Brit Rock piece, until the two soloists (the two brothers?) conspire to shred the arrangement to pieces, the little terrorists! Way in particular has a sizzling outro. "Slow Rag" is Etheridge's turn to show off his skills, weaving a leisurely guitar tapestry, in unison with Way's ultra-romantic glide, an ornate acoustic foray that has a definite Mediterranean feel, almost mandolin-ish , building up into a paroxysm of emotion and then gently ebbing, the violin's elegance leading the er. way. Mosley thrashes nicely on this fine piece. "Market Overture" supplies some electric piano musings, with supersonic jazzy electric guitar picking and a kindergarten violin sortie that builds inexorably, percussive adornments and booming bass taking this to an impromptu end. "Game of X" is at first straight ahead rock and roll, a two- fisted power boogie with scorching violin and some oddball hard scat singing but the shifting moods take this into a different expanse of improvisational violin screeching at the raucous guitar ramblings. Almost punkish at times, this definitely shows that the Wolf has big fangs. It becomes quite obvious that overproduced and lush symphonics are not what this rock predator is about. "Saturation Point" is a slow moving exploration that gives again both stringers the opportunity to forage above the bed of electric keyboards and seek out new sounds to play with, seemingly effortlessly. The classical tendencies here a quite remote as jazz or rock seem to be the prey of the day. Etheridge in particular has an electric guitar style that is enormously impressive, fluid yet raw, very animated as opposed to run of the mill. The bass rolls along nicely and keeps things nice and tidy. The fantastic finale is "Toy Symphony" (the definite highpoint here), which does revert to some intense violin classicisms but are quickly kidnapped by some weighty fuzz bass and cliff-hanger drumming, again flinging the arrangement into rockier geographies. Darryl Way displays his complete mastery over this tremendous instrument by choosing to eschew gratuitous note splashing and wringing out feeling and emotion from his trusted weapon. The final few minutes are a frenzy of exhilarating interplay that will leave you breathless. Just like being chased by a hungry wolf. Definitely worthy of your prog zoo, I mean.. collection. 4 canines.
Report this review (#170671)
Posted Sunday, May 11, 2008 | Review Permalink

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