Tidings is the first dark and frenzied offering from London's Wolf People -- an alchemistic compendium of English classic rock that has been doused in wine, its pages left red-stained, blurred and melded in the most interesting ways.
The quartet -- and first UK rock band to join the Jagjaguwar inner circle -- is eager to stress that Tidings is not a proper album per se. Collected from recordings made by Jack Sharp in Bedford, England between 2005 and 2007 (and mostly before the band as it exists now was formed), Tidings is wild with tape hiss, feedback and background noise -- a fecund broth of sounds competing for the listener's attention.
Stitched together in a style reminiscent of Faust or early Mothers Of Invention, the songs lay nestled in snatches of field recordings, winding tapes, squealing feedback, studio outtakes and the voices of dead relatives. The tunes themselves are full of hissing guitars, distorted blues harmonica, acid rock, mystical flutes and crackling tape, often based on updated versions of classic blues structures and half-remembered English folk songs.
These recordings form the prehistory of a band that have recently garnered a reputation for blistering live performances around the UK: Wolf People have supported Dinosaur Jr, Tinariwen, Witchcraft, Sleepy Sun, Malcolm Mooney and Voice Of The Seven Woods among others.
Their sound has evolved to include the diverse influences and musicianship of Jack's three colleagues and, as such,Tidings serves as an index of possibilities, whetting the appetite for the band's debut LP, which is due for release on Jagjaguwar later in 2010.