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Review: Joyous Wolf – Place in Time

There’s something familiar about the music from Joyous Wolf. I don’t mean how it sounds, not at all. But how it feels. Somehow or another I get transported back to around 1968. Granted I was 3 at the time but as I grew up that music was core to my own foundations. I just wouldn’t know it for many years to come. To me the late 60s and early 70s are some of the most honest times in music where people didn’t get up on stage and play their instruments for you. They became the music they were giving to you, feeling it while living it.

Somehow Joyous Wolf takes me back to that time. They don’t really sound like any other band right off, more like all of the great ones rolled up into one. A little Zep here, a little Yes here, come here Soundgarden…

Joyous Wolf would have killed it at Woodstock.

From their recent cover of Mississippi Queen and original single release of Slow Hand, we certainly pass the formalities and introductions and we take you to the heart and soul of the band. That “heavy delta blues metal” shines like a supernova in Slow Hand. Favor guys – when you do Slow Hand at Lava Cantina next week – turn that bass to 11!

From what I’ve seen in videos, the live show is going to take all live shows to another level. Experience, if you will. Frontman Nick Reese has moves that make Gumby go “what the hell did he just do”? Taking pics at this show is going to keep me on my toes and the competition is fierce from what I’ve seen. Reese has a habit of taking over the stage and doing Olympic level gymnastic moves.

The bass in Slow Hand makes me want to watch 5 string porn and I’m not even sure what that is. The backup vocals of “I am clear now” are Yes era in nature, cementing their global late 60s / early 70s influence. Can’t pick a better place to be.

Which brings me FINALLY to Place in Time. Joyous Wolf, now with Roadrunner Records (congrats guys!) released this today and I finally got all the pieces in one sitting. Let’s see how far they’ve come.

Quiet Heart was an early release I got to check out. That slipping back to 1968 every time I listen to these guys is no exception here. The change of pace is becoming a trademark for these guys as they do tell a complete emotional story in their songs. This means you’ll rock out, you’ll slow down, you’ll think and ah hell, you’re gonna feel it. There goes those guitars taking this story to a crescendo as we fade right back out.

Title cut time – Place in Time. Full energetic start with the guitars saying “get the fuck over here” and I believe you will. Said Too Much keeps the pace alive but a total change on guitars as the style itself changes all through the song in so many unified ways.

Delta Blues? Slow things down maybe just a bit? They got you covered in Feel the Low. While a slower song to be sure, it’s far from your typical ballad-esque tune. Feel the Low is much more of a head game lay on your back under the stars in a faded favorite Led Zepplin t-shirt kind of slow.

Pretty much what music has been missing for a long time, I suppose.

Released today, Place in Time is pretty much the launching pad of some pretty great things to come from these guys. It’s the kind of head music from an almost forgotten time that makes you hear something new almost every time you listen to their music. Given how much you’re going to listen, that’s a lot “new” to keep rediscovering. There’s more on the release but I’m going to let you go discover it for yourself.

And Greg, I’m serious – let that bass fly at Lava Cantina on the 28th!

Joyous Wolf – Roadrunner Records
Nick Reese (Vocals)
Blake Allard (Guitar)
Greg Braccio (Bass)
Robert Sodaro (Drums)

Buy Place in Time