Scott Metzger is one of New York City’s most in demand guitarists, touring and recording with the likes of Trixie Whitley, Anders Osborne and Grateful Dead revivalist phenomenon, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. But it’s Metzger’s instrumental trio, WOLF!, that reveals his own distinct voice as an artist. First and foremost, Metzger’s vision for the band is framed in the context of the great Fender Telecaster tradition, stretching from Roy Buchanan to Jeff Beck, Danny Gatton to Steve Cropper, Bill Frisell to Albert Collins. It’s within that rich lineage that Metzger stands to be recognized as the next great torchbearer. Abetted by a lockstep rhythm section that features bassist Jon Shaw and drummer Taylor Floreth, WOLF! finds new and exciting ways to evolve what’s possible with the classic guitar, bass, and drums line-up, while maintaining a fundamental groove that’s both irresistible and undeniable.
WOLF!’s second studio album, entitled ‘1-800-WOLF!,’ overflows with atmosphere—a wisp of Parisian swing in “Oaxaca Ox,” a dreamy seaside mist in “Bohemian Grove,” a Tarantino moonlight spell on “Furry Freedom,” a creamy, gorgeous texture on “Denim Love Affair,” the musical embodiment of tone, touch and taste on “Pork N’ Slaw.” The tracks were recorded in one afternoon at Marco Benevento’s studio in Woodstock and the rest over three days at The Creamery Studio in Brooklyn. Each song was written in true WOLF! fashion, before audiences at gigs, with the exceptions of “Furry Freedom,” which was was improvised and recorded in one take at the studio, and “You’re No Longer My Friend, My Friend,” a Buddy-Holly-Meets-Pulp-Fiction composition that Metzger admits to writing after watching an old kung-fu film titled ‘Lady Snowblood.’
Taking cues from vintage soul, blues, boogaloo, country and rock, WOLF! seamlessly merge styles. They are not afraid to acknowledge influences, from an echo of The Ventures on “Furry Freedom” to old-school electric blues (with an actual guitar solo) on “All Dressed Up (Nowhere to Go).” Yet there isn’t a derivative moment on the record. Instead, the trio’s antecedents enhance the distinctive sound they continue to build together.