26 Aug 2019
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Albi & The Wolves - Album Review: This Is War

19 Jul 2019 // A review by Jacquie Walters

This Is War is the second album from Auckland-based, folk-inspired trio Albi and The Wolves and it’s every bit as delightful as you’d expect it to be if you’ve had the pleasure of seeing the group live.


Albi and The Wolves have a compelling energy and dynamism to their sound. It’s got drive and passion in spades. On this second offering from the group you can really hear the depth that can only come from a group of musicians who’ve done lots of gigs together. There’s a mutual understanding, a balance, and a maturity to the sound.

Vocalist Chris Dent (also known as Albi) is excellent throughout. He sings with clarity and manages to completely commit to his vocals without ever over singing. Micheal Young is outstanding on bass, particularly on Story, also providing delicately-balanced harmony contributions on backing vocals. Young contributes an intelligent bedrock to the sound. Pascal Roggen is consistently great on violin and backing vocals, although it felt to me that the violin was less dominant on this album than it was on the band’s debut album. But this is entirely appropriate as the group finds its balance.

Story is a particular highlight. It’s an utterly, utterly lovely song. “It’s the same old story of a broken heart. How you walked right in and you pulled it apart. It’s the same old story of a broken heart. You turned my light on as the sky went dark.” I’d Go Anywhere featuring Looking For Alaska is also gorgeous and the very fine harmonies on Oh Father are memorable.

The first single released from the album It Ain’t Easy remains a barn stormer of a track. It surprises me a little that there aren’t more tracks on the album with this kind of pace.

Having said that, Canyon provides an up tempo finish to the album with the chorus line “I feel so alive, I want to thank you for being in my life”. That kind of sums up how I feel when I listen to music from Albi and the Wolves. It’s life affirming and heartfelt material from a group who represent much of what I value most about music – true connection, real soul, and songs that mean something performed with real skill and heart.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Albi & The Wolves

This is folk music, but not as you know it. Pulling inspiration from a wide spectrum of genres, from swing to bluegrass, soul, R&B, rock and world music, Albi and The Wolves offer a decadent serving of double bass, banjo, and fiddle accompanied by Albi's smooth vocal stylings. These elements come together to create both a potent foot stomping rhythm and a captivating music and stage presence never experienced before.

With this love and respect of music in all its forms, Albi and The Wolves not only offer vibrant and refreshing original songs which burst open the seams of traditional folk music, but they also inject their signature sound into modern classics from artists as diverse as Micheal Jackson, and Pink Floyd.

Since the band's formation in 2014, they have excelled in New Zealand's live music scene, pulling in large crowds with their unique performance style, making it irresistible to dance.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Albi & The Wolves

Releases

One Eye Open
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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