Wolf People creates post-apocalyptic themes and multiple moods with ‘Ruins’

If the concept of a post-apocalyptic world is thought provoking enough to drive millions of viewers toward AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” then imagine “Ruins” serving as the perfect soundtrack to the zombies’ takeover.

Although the band does not consider this body of work to be a concept album, there are thematic recurrences that explore the concept of a world without humans.

Wolf People
The artwork for the album “Ruins” shows the creative, quirky brainwaves of the band Wolf People, with hiroglyphics and strange symbols. (Photo courtesy of Jagjaguwar)

The album runs through a gamut of moods, seamlessly transitioning from dark, brooding tracks, like “Ninth Night” to warm and mellow songs like the “Kingfisher” reprises.

The true beauty of “Ruins” lies within Wolf People’s display of versatility, while remaining true to themselves. There aren’t any moments during the album where they appear to be trying to emulate something that they are not.

At its core, “Ruins” has the makings of a solid album with each member of the band delivering glimpses of show-stealing grandeur. The album reaches its highest point early on with “Night Witch,” which eclipses the other songs in nearly every way, especially sonically.

Front man Jack Sharpe’s chilling vocals are perfectly juxtaposed to the most high-octane and dynamic performance by the band members.

The arrangement and composition of “Night Witch” was executed with a genius-level of mastery that is begging to be featured in a future Guitar Hero installment.

The album suffers when Sharpe’s vocal prowess is given a minimalized role, which ultimately proves to be the difference between the good songs (“Thistles”) and the great songs (“Kingfisher”).

Wolf People
(Left to right) Joe Hollick, guitar; Jack Sharpe, guitar and vocals; Dan Davies, bass; Tom Watt, drums.(Photo by Cat Stevens for Jagjaguwar)

The instances where the lyrics and instrumentation share an equal focus truly invokes a synergy between the members, while simultaneously highlighting individual strengths, such as Sharpe’s auditory resemblance of Sade and Phil Collins vocal attributes.

The album’s elaborate intros and outros to most of the song provide the listener a satisfying sense of completeness as the music returns full circle.

The cyclical nature of the album is an overarching motif that fits into the post-apocalyptic theme that Wolf People has managed to capture so well in this album.

Regardless of how important we think we are, in the grand scheme of things, the earth began without humans and will continue to function when we’re gone.