This morning as I set about having breakfast and coffee and got ready to write this post, I was having periodic bouts of the chills. It was as if someone was holding my hand atop a block of ice and then pulling it away. I felt it radiating from my spine outwards. I chalked it up to the brisk winter wind blowing outside, threw on a sweater, and sat down in front of the warm glow of the computer screen to write about Wool On Wolves and see if the sensations would abate.
Turns out “Unsuspecting Ways”, the opening track on their new album, Measures of Progress sent more of those shivers my way as each of its six minutes and 11 seconds past. Measures of Progress is aptly named, as it clearly marks Wool On Wolves’ evolution as a band and songwriters since their inception in 2008. The five piece Edmonton-based band have put together an impressive collection of songs that aren’t afraid of getting complex in structure, while maintaining a simple, straightforward emotional core. There have been plenty of comparisons between Wool On Wolves and Wilco, and rightly so (“Love Is Learned” sounds like it would have been right at home onA Ghost Is Born).
That said, Wool On Wolves shouldn’t be dismissed as just another band imitating their musical heroes. “Be The Change” is a deliciously funky little existentialist joint that stands out as one of the record’s highlights for me, as is the languid piano-led ballad “Medicine Shows”. Quite honestly, there isn’t a song on Measures of Progress that I thought didn’t fit or work with the others. It is an extremely well-crafted record, not just in terms of the musicianship and songwriting, but in it’s sequencing, pacing, and overall presentation.
If bold was what they were going for on Measures of Progress, then Wool On Wolves have succeeded in that regard. It would be very interesting to see how these recordings translate to the live stage, and as luck would have it, Wool On Wolves are out on the road playing with Great Bloomers. For any of my local peeps interested, they’re at the Mansion House in St. Catharines tonight, and have stops in Peterborough, Windsor and Sarina before Christmas. Also be sure to check out the Quick Before It Melts Facebook page for your chance yourself a copy of the disc.
Measures of Progress is available from Wool On Wolves through Bandcamp now.
Tags: Wool on Wolves