DeWolff – Wolffpack (Mascot Records)
Unashamedly retro and yet very much ‘of the moment’, the fourth DeWolff album in as many years looks set to go down in history as a bona fide lockdown classic.
Soulful, funky, bluesy and brash, its hypnotic fusion of genres is hardly a surprise.
This is, after all, a band that loves to push the envelope and rewrite the rock and roll rule book.
What’s unexpected is the sheer depth of musicality.
The even broader brush strokes of über-cool creativity.
And the refusal to revisit anything that DeWolff has ever done before.
The Wolffpack pack a punch
Wolffpack’s title is a canny nod to the collaborative approach to a remarkable record.
It references the band’s delight in bouncing occasionally bonkers ideas off fellow musicians.
And it reflects the album’s genesis as a fan-driven collection of wildly intoxicating tunes.
DeWolff may be driven by three dangerously talented Dutchmen but they’ve always been open to a little help from their friends.
And in 2020 the trio was inundated with socially distanced assistance.
As a result, the band’s ninth album boasts a striking identity and a glorious sense of misdirection.
Dutch courage drives DeWolff
Boasting more twists and turns than the backstreets of Amsterdam Wolffpack is an early contender for album of the year.
And heaven help anyone trying to categorise this genre-fluid masterpiece.
Sure, there are reassuring hints of the band’s psychedelic Southern rock past.
R U My Saviour has more than touch of Skynyrd at its beating heart but then a marvellously meandering track also features a jazzy interlude and Black Crowes-style swagger.
Rival Sons meets Focus on opener Yes You Do — Wolffpack’s hook even features an intro. snatched from Netflix hit Stranger Things.
Do Me a favour
Do Me is a weird one.
At risk of drifting into elevator music territory, it’s saved by a vocal that evokes Terence Trent D’Arby at his moody best.
Conversely, Roll Up The Rise is a riotous piece of rock and soul that could give Vintage Trouble a timely kick up the arse.
And the kaleidoscopic keys powering set closer Hope Train create a post-Doors soundscape that reinforces DeWolff’s reputation as fearless agents of change.
Identifying the common theme that binds together Wolffpack is, quite frankly, impossible.
There isn’t one.
Instead, the van de Poel brothers, alongside trusty sidekick and top tinkler Robin Piso, have gone with the flow and gone with their gut.
The result is something shocking, exciting and so very 2021.