Release Date: Jul 16, 2013
Record label: E1 Entertainment
Orotund actor, comedian and writer Matt Berry – late of The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, for starters – could be the James Mason of his generation, rolling in voiceover clover, were it not for a startling propensity to burst into adamant song. It came as little surprise, therefore, that Berry’s 2011 acid-folk album Witchazel was as accomplished as it was: but more than a few listeners were taken aback by its apparent sincerity, give or take the odd (very odd) lyric. Kill The Wolf is arguably even more impressive than its precursor in this respect: a mandolin, woodwind and tremolo guitar-inflected sound picture of the brown downs, harvest fecundity, fire-lit rites and crow-black folklore of sweetly sinister old England.
Matt Berry has created and/or starred in many excellent and funny things – Snuff Box, The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh, Jesus-based rock opera spoof AD/BC – but this follow-up to his 2011 album ‘Witchazel’ doesn’t play for laughs and misses the giddy heights of his former comedic fare. Its gently psychedelic prog-folk is faintly ridiculous rather than outright hilarious, and weighed on its musical merits alone, doesn’t get much further than Pentangle pastiche. Lead single ‘Devil Inside Me’ is the album’s earworm that you’ll end up humming, and ‘Solstice’ is a pleasingly overblown proggy epic, but much of the rest is competent yet uninspiring, and the novelty soon wears off.Kevin EG Perry .
If you were to show someone a greatest hits compilation of Matt Berry's performances in the various comic TV series he has appeared in over the last ten years, and then asked them what kind of album he would make if given the chance, there's a good chance they would nominate prog. His performances are rich in bellowed portentous announcements ("SPEAK, PRIEST!"), eyebrow raised whimsy, and pompous bombast, three characteristics that they share with the best and most enjoyably ridiculous prog rock. Such an assessment would be partly right, too.