CD Reviews

Wolfspring - 'Wolfspring' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 20, 2010    
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A good variety of songs and sounds make for a very cohesive album consisting of eight tracks.

Wolfspring is a new band formed by JP Louveton, guitarist and singer with the French Progressive band, NEMO. I’ve not encountered NEMO previously, but if they are as good as Wolfspring then I need to check them out because this is a very tasty morsel indeed.
Their sound covers a large number of bases, but is essentially rooted in the Prog genre albeit touching on many of the sub-genres such as Metal, neo-Prog, Symphonic and most everything in between which makes them difficult to pigeon-hole. To emphasise that I’ll list just some of the comparisons that I have jotted down as I have listened to the album, these being Frost*, Darwin’s Radio, OSI, Rush, Arena, Satellite, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and I could go on.

That may sound like an unusual mix, but it all comes together to provide a good variety of songs and sounds that actually make for a very cohesive album consisting of eight tracks.
After a rousing start to the first track, ‘The Haunting’ it slows to a piano motif overlaid by Julian Clemens’ splendid vocal refrain. As the pace rises for an instrumental section Louveton displays some fabulous multiple guitar runs where there are several guitars playing different licks. ‘24/7’ opens with Guillaume Fontaine’s synth work whilst Louveton’s guitar reminds me of John Mitchell in Arena mode. He also lays down some fine bass whilst Ludovic Moro-Sibilot delivers some great drumming, and as for the bass pedals, wonderful. This is a very melodic number that on the construction of the chorus makes me think of Frost*.

The instrumental ‘Carpathian Wolves’ has a staccato riff initial before moving into Dream Theater mode, but later on Rush, circa ‘La Villa Strangiato’ comes into my head. Like any good instrumental it moves forward and has a melody strong enough to counter the lack of vocals.
After the bombast of the previous track ‘Train’s Gone’ takes the pace down with a lovely acoustic guitar and piano refrain. The vocals put me in mind of Venice and the jangly guitars of early Genesis. The tempo is ramped up towards the middle of the song and once more the guitars excel. The mix of a Metal riff with a slide guitar solo is an interesting development, but they pull it off so well. ‘Now or Never’ has vocals that immediately make me think of Kevin Godley (10CC) and I love this track with its gentle swagger, simple arrangement, strong melodies and lush bass. That is until the banjo appears, not an instrument that should be anywhere near a Prog album. The guitar solo rescues that particular faux pas.

‘Mutation’ has an industrial feel to the keyboards, almost Gary Numan-esque and isn’t as immediately impressive as previous songs, although when the processed vocals disappear and are replaced by proper singing it takes on a better complexion. Not the strongest song on the album.
‘Howling with the Banshee’ is another instrumental and again it is so well constructed, it remains tuneful and relevant throughout. It builds slowly and inexorably as the guitars create some fine melodies.

To close we have the longest track, ‘Our New Mediaevil World’, which starts like Pink Floyd but changes as it moves along, with Spock’s Beard inflections as well as Hard Rock and a touch Glam, making for an interesting amalgam. As you’d imagine it moves through any number of styles over it’s twelve and a half minute duration but it it’s a fine way to round out a very good album.

Gary Marshall

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