We all know that there are songs we’ve heard in our lifetimes that remind us of places, people, things we’ve done. For example, most people sober enough at the time to have memories of the last song at high school dances will remember the awkward dancing spectacle that is the ending of Stairway To Heaven. Probably everybody tried the Macarena, even your Grandma. And who didn’t wish they had Hammer Pants so they could shake their booty in their living room while singing along to U Can’t Touch This?
Well, probably everyone but me, on those last two. But I know you did. Admit it.
Similarly, there are albums, too, that can define a certain place in your life. A tape you bought whilst on vacation, a CD that got played endlessly in your school dorm, that Barry White album you ever-so casually threw into the player when you had that special someone alone in your shitty apartment for the first time…
Hearing these albums years later can instantly take you back to that time and place where you first heard it, and with a startling recall for detail.
Being a fan of music, I have lots of examples from my own life of such songs and albums. In fact, I associate just about everything in my life to music, a practice which usually drives my wife nuts, after a while.
Wolfstone’s Unleashed is definitely such an album for me. It takes me back to Scotland, where I was fortunate enough to travel more than once. What a beautiful country. I heard some of these songs at top volume in a Clyde-side pub on New Year’s Eve. Er, sorry. Hogmanay. I had Hector The Hero playing on a loop in my head when we climbed to the top of Ben Lomond. I remain convinced, to this day, that Cleveland Park may be just about the best road trip song ever, reminding me of a day-trip through Dumbarton and Oban on the way to Glencoe. And Here Is Where The Heart Is still makes me want to jump up and down and sing along, attempting a really bad imitation of their accent. And all of this even though it’s been well over ten years since I last visited the country.
Describe the sound? Think of the old traditional jigs and reels, pipes blaring and fiddles wheeling about in the mix. Now add guitars, drums and bass. Add a touch of respect for history and balance that with a yearning for something different. Filter that through a bunch of insanely talented musicians and you’ll get this album.
There isn’t a song here that’s less than absolutely brilliant. The musicianship is out of this world, and every song is completely heart-felt. All 9 tracks will work their way into your brain and take up permanent residence. It’ll remind you of Scotland even if you’ve not yet traveled there.
If your finest local record shop doesn’t carry this on import, you’ll have discovered that that shop isn’t as fine as you once thought it was. Go now and find a copy of this record, if you’ve yet to hear it. Seriously. Right now.