Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Darryl Way's Wolf - 1974 - Night Music

Darryl Way's Wolf
Night Music

01. The Envoy (6:28)
02. Black September (4:48)
03. Flat 2-55 (6:52)
04. Anteros (4:21)
05. We’re Watching You (5:10)
06. Steal The World (4:18)
07. Comrade Of The Nine (2:43)

 - Darryl Way / violin, keyboards
- John Etheridge / guitars
- Dek Messecar / bass
- Ian Mosley / drums
- John Hodkinson / vocals

When Curved Air fell apart in 1972-1973, Darryl Way formed a new band called Wolf who carried on much in the same style as Curved Air. The band compromised of Darryl Way (naturally) on violin and keyboards, Ian Mosley on drums (later to be in Trace, Steve Hackett’s band and of course Marillion), John Etheridge on guitar (later to be a member of Soft Machine) and Dek Messacar on bass (later to be a member of Caravan).

On their third (and alas last) album, John Hodkinson (ex-If) joined on vocals to produce very ripe and intelligent music. With the violin lead, it is in a mold similar to Curved Air but a slightly more refined style. Some of the musical interludes are similar to mid-period Caravan. A fusion style playing, great instrumentation and strong melodies.

Darryl Way's Wolf - 1974 - Canis Lupis

Darryl Way's Wolf 
Canis Lupis

01. The Void (4:35)
02. Isolation Waltz (4:37)
03. Go Down (4:45)
04. Wolf (4:06)
05. Cadenza (4:48)
06. Chanson Sans Paroles (6:28)
07. McDonald’s Lament (7:10)

 - Darryl Way / violin, viola, keyboards
- Dek Messecar / bass, vocals
- John Etheridge / guitar
- Ian Mosley / drums
- Ian McDonald / piano, percussion (track 6)

Violinist Darryl Way left Curved Air earlier in 1973 to form Wolf and assembled a remarkable collection of talent: a young John Etheridge (of later Soft Machine) had his professional start here on guitar, while Ian Mosley (of later Trace and Marillion) had previously drummed for Walrus. Dek Messecar (of later Caravan) joined on bass and vocals, and King Crimson’s Ian McDonald produced the ensuing debut album.

The first side contains vocal numbers : “The Void” clicks along and “Isolation Waltz” gets down right heavy; there’s a slightly psychedelic and spooky feel they’re aiming at and ultimately achieve.

The second side is instrumental : “Cadenza” is a regular hoot, highlighting Way’s acoustic violin and some nice clean guitar lines from Etheridge, while “Chanson San Paroles” features Way’s considerable keyboard skills.

Wolf carries on Darryl Way’s brand of progressive rock, predictably mixing classical elements with heavy rock.

Darryl Way's Wolf - 1973 - Saturation Point

Darryl Way's Wolf
Saturation Point

01. The Ache (4:52)
02. Two Sisters (4:21)
03. Slow Rag (5:19)
04. Market Overture (3:40)
05. Game of X (5:49)
06. Saturation Point (6:47)
07. Toy Symphony (7:12)

- Darryl Way / violin, viola, keyboards
- John Etheridge / guitars
- Dek Messecar / bass, vocals
- Ian Mosley / drums

When a progressive rock band has violin and guitars in his music, usually they are not played at the same time. In fact, they are simultaneously played here, and this really contributes to give Wolf a very personal trademark.

Their second album is full of impressive violin, electric + acoustic guitars and dynamic & punchy bass! Drums are very well played and quite complex. Everything is very well synchronized, like Gentle Giant. The tracks are mainly instrumental and the keyboards are surprisingly rare, simple and discreet: they mostly consist of electric piano.

This record is heavier, more symphonic and straightforward than their first album, “Canis Lupus”: there are some very seriously loaded parts, very progressive and the violin is more omnipresent.