Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lunatic Wolf – A Band Review

     Lunatic Wolf released their debut album “To the Adventure” in November 2014. We missed it until we received a Twitter “follow” that motivated a visit to the music of Lunatic Wolf. It wasn’t long before we purchased the album. Later, we found an email invitation to review the music, with a code to download the album for free. No regrets – the $7 (USD) is good for short term gratification from two mochas at our favorite coffee shop or longer lasting enjoyment from the addition to our music library. Music is always the wiser purchase.

     To the Adventure” is a theme album. According to Lunatic Wolf, “The album captures the band's transition to adulthood, exploring themes of growth, childhood nostalgia and the end of life and love.” The two songs that we favor are “Roses” and “The Tallest Tree,” but there are other strong tracks on the album. “Roses” is about being in love, while “The Tallest Tree” is the questioning that occurs after leaving childhood.
     The strength of the band is its vocals. “Roses” is a good example. Nothing about the song is complex, although clearly much thought went into the presentation (there’s a complexity in its simplicity). The song begins with an acoustic guitar and a single voice. Later, other voices enter and, although those backing vocals seem minimal if measured in terms of time or syllables, they are powerful if the measurement is the impact on a listener. And, the instruments are carefully mixed and mastered into the vocalization fabric.
     If we were pressured to identify a comparable artist/band, our response wouldn’t be useful to many. We would identify a young Graham Nash, who similarly generated simple yet powerful music. His “Simple Man” (1971) and Lunatic Wolf’s “Roses” have much in common. 

     Lunatic Wolf is a Folk Rock band based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The members are Gavin van den Berg (vocals), Richard Oldfield (piano), Jacques du Plessis (keyboard), Gavin Flaks (drums), Adrian Erasmus (guitar) and David Grevler (bass). "To the Adventure" was produced and mixed at High Seas Studio by members Gavin van den Berg and Jacques du Plessis (producer for Wrestlerish, Shortstraw, Desmond & the Tutus). The album was mastered by Emily Lazar with assistance from Rich Morales.

      “Roses” by Lunatic Wolf

     “The Tallest Tree” by Lunatic Wolf

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