Wool on Wolves Grey Matter

For all of the Prairies, Rockies and tundra our country possesses, it always seemed strange that Toronto took centre stage as the folk rock capital of Canada. Wool on Wolves try to correct this misnomer on Grey Matter, the debut from the Edmonton, AB quintet. In its finer moments, Wool on Wolves channel Mellencamp when everyone else are doing Springsteen, demonstrated by the roadhouse piano noodling of "Honeybee" and the achy-break-y vocals of "One Second." Concurrently, the listener is given stuff like "Ain't Seen Mississippi," which sounds like a countrified Black Crowes song performed by an American Idol hopeful. Produced by Nik Kozub (of Shout Out Out Out Out), it's fitting that Grey Matter comes off as conceptualized and tempered, so much so that songs like honky-tonk opener "Thick as Thieves" and the overwrought piano-and-cello jaunt of "Cocaine & Bellows" feel either tongue-in-cheek or incredibly insincere. On Grey Matter, Wool on Wolves manage to make one of music's most organic genres sound plastic. (Independent)