Wolf People

Steeple

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AllMusic Review by

So much of music is about taking the lessons of the past and improving upon them in an attempt by the artist to leave their mark on the artistic landscape. Occasionally, a band comes along and reminds us that those old sounds are so good on their own that they don’t really need anything added to them to stand on their own in the modern era. On Steeple, the first proper album from England’s Wolf People, the band takes up the challenge of championing the bluesy, psychedelic rock of their homeland. With a sound that’s deeply rooted in the fuzzy riffage of Jethro Tull, Hawkwind, and Cream, Wolf People pick and choose the best parts of that old British sound in a way that makes them feel more like curators than a band. You can feel the reverence in songs like “Tiny Circle” and “Cromlech,” where rather than attempt to push the songs in fuzzier, more extreme directions, the band shows restraint and does things the way they were done back in the day. Normally this kind of sound would come across as derivative, but Wolf People pull it off with such an adroit effortlessness that it doesn’t seem offensive. If the rise of chillwave has taught us anything, it’s that the line between vintage sound and ironic pastiche is a thin and treacherous one. Fortunately for them, Steeple proves that Wolf People is a band that is more than capable of traversing it.

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