Their first ‘proper album’, if Steeple sounds like it was recorded in the chicken barn of a 17th-century Welsh mansion, it’s because it was. It’s the musical equivalent of method acting: behave like you’re a member of the Incredible String Band circa 1968, and the music will follow.
And happily – amazingly, joyously – it really has.
Steeple is a late contender for album of the year, the sound of a band hitting its groove and realising its vision – that vision being the rediscovery of a uniquely English take on rock. A place where folk, psychedelia and blues meet (and get off their beardy little faces on scrumpy and homegrown…).
Fans of Tull, Sabbath, Zeppelin and Fairport Convention will feel right at home with Tiny Circle’s flute-propelled riff, the urgent and icy John Barry-esque riff of One By One From Dorney Reach and Banks of Sweet Dundee’s fiddle-mi-ree intro and heavy-as-hell breakdown.
If Robert Plant wants to know how to reconcile his rootsy leanings with dignified and intelligent rock music, Wolf People have drawn him a map.