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Wolfstone - Almost An Island
Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 24/02/2008 05:59:01
There's something reassuring about putting on an album by Wolfstone. What you see (or hear in this case) is what you get. The coupling of power chords topped by the piping skills of Stephen Saint is a marriage made in heaven as far as I'm concerned and although some of you might call into question my sense of hearing, the texture of Highland pipes played over the top of full blown rock backing appears to harness the raw energy generated by the rest of the band. Take for instance the track 'La Grand Nuit du Port de Peche' where the fiddle and pipe melodies are picked up by the percussion and gently grooving bass before the interjection of drums and distorted electric guitar. Subtlety isn't really a word that readily springs to mind when describing the attributes of Wolfstone but having said that, you have to admire their restraint in production. Rather more interesting are the vocal performances of lead singer Stuart Eaglesham. Now, I'm not saying that I don't like what I hear it's just that Stuart's voice takes a little getting used to - a bit like the first time you heard Jon & Vangelis perhaps? I suppose I'm showing my age when I say that I remember the original recording by Andy M Stewart (in his Silly Wizard days) of 'The Queen Of Argyll' and, unfairly or not his vocal rendition of the song is noticeably stronger than that of Stuart's. Without wishing to offend anyone, in my eyes this is a band that has nothing to prove other than they want to have a good time doing what they're doing and bring along their audience for the ride. So, if you like your music played in the comfort of your home choose Almost An Island. If, on the other hand you'd rather wave your candles in the air imagining you're at some green trouser-stained festival go for the 'live' recording. While you're at it, why not pitch a tent in your front room, get a few beers and chuck-up behind the settee for that extra bit of reality? There has always been a place for this brand of stadium folk-rock and although Steeleye and Fairport were there before them Wolfstone have the edge in my opinion. Now what I'd really like to see is a double-bill of Wolfstone and Status Quo - my money would be on the Wolf!
Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: celtic3 on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.
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