Matt Berry – Kill The Wolf

I’m without the means to record my compositions for a short while folks (incoming baby meaning grand upheavals are afoot!).  In the mean time instead of bothering you about my maniacal creations I thought I’d bother you about some pretty top drawer musical discoveries I’ve made.
Kill The Wolf - Matt Berry

Matt Berry – Kill The Wolf

 

Matt Berry is well-known as a baritone comedian of the left extreme of British Comedy occupying the same portion of Barratt, Fielding et al.  He’s not so well-known as a musician though this seems to  be his original vocation.

 

I discovered Matt Berry’s musical prowess while stalking YouTube for Snuff Box shorts.  I knew he was responsible for the Snuff Box theme tune and the whimsically joyous “One Track Lover” from Garth Marengi’s Dark Place. However the revelation is that he has been making non-comedic straight albums that are a treasure.

So by coincidence I caught on to Berry’s music the day before Kill The Wolf was released. I don’t generally review anything on my little corner of the internet but I think that given that “Brand Berry” is more likely to be obfuscated by the fantastic comedic work he’s due as many blog posts as possible to let this music get heard without assumptions and prejudice clouding the listening.

As an album Kill The Wolf is wonderfully eclectic and manages to straddle many musical styles to paint a gloriously vivid and cinematic picture that does for England what the original Wicker Man soundtrack did for western Scotland.  There’s something feral, pre-christian and pre-modernity about the whole affair.  I love this album dearly but here’s some thoughts on my favourite tracks.

Gather Up

A canon, nay a round of multi layered vocals the uses an insistent rhythm and to implore the gathering of a bounty of forest herbs.  No doubt for some ritualistic potion making.  This could have easily been a theme in the Witch Finder General.  Beautifully evocative and harmonies accented with harp and saucy electric guitars.  Black Widow wish they came up with this.

Solstice

This one is a sprawling epic in four movements.  I saw it described as neo-prog which I tend to think is a somewhat lazy description for any piece of music longer than the requisite 3:00 as demanded by the Hit Parade.

That said there’s a lot going on here.  It’s a cliché to describe a piece of music as a journey so imagine this one as a space journey.  It honestly felt like the first time I listened to Tubular Bells (side one) when I premiered this masterpiece.

 

October Sun

This song should be the national anthem of The Republic of Happy Optimists (RHO)  – a nordic country where buses run on time and the main industry is the manufacture of measurement devices for the pharmaceutical sector.  One can imagine this joyous air being hummed by thousands of industrious humans living in a Scandinavian paradise as they go about their daily routines.