Review: DeWolff ‘Love, Death & In Between’
For all the woes of the global rock scene and the music industry as a whole, I’m continuously impressed to see more and more bands who have a profound work ethic, releasing albums and EPs twice or even several times a year. Dutch retro rock three-piece DeWolff have been busy as bees since their inception. Opting for live tape recording instead of overdubs, Love, Death & Between is the latest release from these Hollanders, delivering a twelve-track record of classic rock that draws upon soul and gospel.
The opener is Night Train, and you could be forgiven for mistaking it for Deep Purple’s Highway Star. It rips to be sure, but just seems a tad familiar. A saving grace is a strong attention paid to vocal arrangements. The band attended a sermon at the Reverend Al Green’s church in Memphis and were so moved, they opted to bring the aforementioned gospel influences. Vocalist, and guitarist, Pablo van de Poel is no slouch behind the mic, and some effective use of backing singers along with a horn section really helps round the song out to a rousing experience.
This is followed up by numbers such as the Little Feat-esque Heart Stopping Kinda Show and the atmospheric Will O’ The Wisp which plays with an understated Santana vibe. I fell in love with the soulful and sprawling sixteen-minute Rosita, it really tugged on my heartstrings as it brought me back to listening to classic rock radio in the car with my dad, granted this would have been 1989, not 1969, but you get the idea.
vibrant and soul-drenched rock…
As the album progressed, I began to find that DeWolff, while wearing their influences on their sleeves, are a step above your standard throwback classic rock act. Not unlike Graveyard, they clearly understand the importance of great hooks and memorable choruses and they put in the effort to deliver a great piece of music, instead of just a borderline tribute act. Other noteworthy is the somber Motown-influenced blues of Mr. Garbage Man, the classic funk of Message For My Baby, and the grandiose stomp of Wontcha Wontcha.
My only real complaint about Love, Death & In Between is that perhaps it could have been a couple of tracks shorter, as you feel pretty well satisfied by the time the album comes to its close. But honestly, that’s really the only criticism. The album goes beyond your average ‘70s nostalgia act with its sincerity and melodic, upbeat power. If you’re a fan of Canned Heat, Atomic Rooster, Joe Cocker, Dr. John or you really just want a vibrant and soul-drenched rock record to improve your day, Love, Death & In Between absolutely brings you to the bellbottom party.
Label: Mascot Records
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram
Scribed by: Rob Walsh