A “power-reggae” band by their own dubbing, Wolfman Conspiracy of Western Massachusetts is kind of a surprise … a reggae band with a bit of a growl in its throat. There’s a low, gravelly funk that underscores the band’s island-inspired groove and gives an edge to a genre that’s often made milquetoast in American hands. The rhythms diverse arrangement of musical style is a boisterous and flamboyant caravan of power; coupled with the energy of an inherently upbeat horn section. The overall effect is engaging and a lot of fun.
NOTABLE ARTISTS PERFORMED WITH:
Badfish, Rubblebucket, Zach Deputy
Kyle Mooney - Bass
Nicolas Gingras - organ, Keys/Synth
Kathryn Rapacki - Trombone
Dominic Mazzoli - Vocals, Guitar
Taryn Smith - Trumpet
Alex Drenga - Guitar
Nathan Kielb - Drums
Ryan Emken - Saxophone
AntiVamp [EP] 2011
Recorded at Zing Studios, Westfield MA
Self Titled [Full Length] 2012
Recorded at Zing Studios, Westfield MA
Howling good reggae
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Amherst’s Wolfman Conspiracy is kind of a surprise … a reggae band with a bit of a growl in its thro...Amherst’s Wolfman Conspiracy is kind of a surprise … a reggae band with a bit of a growl in its throat. There’s a low, gravelly funk that underscores the band’s island-inspired groove and gives an edge to a genre that’s often made milquetoast in American hands. The low growl in the music is echoed by the growl in singer Dom Mazzolli’s voice, a nice counterpoint to brassy, inherently upbeat trumpets. The overall effect is engaging and a lot of fun. Wolfman Conspiracy performs at 9 p.m. Friday in the Ship Room of the Hotel Vernon, 1 Millbury St., Worcester. (Victor D. Infante)
The Wolfman Conspiracy howls at Bishop’s Lounge
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The scene at Bishop’s Lounge this past Friday was surprising: the space was small, and the lights we...The scene at Bishop’s Lounge this past Friday was surprising: the space was small, and the lights were dim.
Three floors up from the moonlit streets of Northampton, the mood was low-key-what kind of band would be filling this modest room?
The Wolfman Conspiracy, a boisterous and flamboyant caravan of power, reveled in the dim light on Friday, Oct. 1.
Starting their set around 11:30 p.m., this group of sharp-dressed people turned a quiet and small room into a loud and small room, packed tightly with people fighting for room to dance.
The cup was filled to the brim on the first night of October.
Taking to the stage like a pack of wolves, The Wolfman Conspiracy had plenty of groove, and this is to be taken literally.
People had to actually try not to dance. From the first song till the encore, the crowd was swept off their feet.
A “power-reggae” band by their own dubbing, the local eight-piece is comparable to other bands with a reggae foundation, except the Wolfmen had their own recipe.
Keyboardist Nick Gingras’s weapon of choice is the Hammond organ, but he also used two or three different types of synthesizers, adding a unique edge to their music. Gingras’s virtuosic touch on the keys was a huge part of The Wolfman Conspiracy’s sound.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Dom Mazzoli’s charisma and righteous voice are worthy of recognition. He never failed to chat up the crowd and his heroic island yell is what brings the deeply real and human vibe to their music.
The Wolfman groove is why you dance, but Mazzoli’s voice is why you actually listen.
The band had a brilliant and extroverted energy on Friday with an intensely physical performance. But despite this explosive energy, moments of introversion and abstract variation were present as well, as the Wolfmen would often change tempo, allowing a calm to settle over the din, or a turn would be taken that wasn’t expected of this eight-piece steamroller.
Also putting on a stunning performance at 10:30 p.m., before the Wolfmen was Timbre Coup, a four-piece progressive rock band from Albany, N.Y..
Mainly an instrumental band, the soul of Timbre Coup bled through sincerely and incessantly throughout their set. Every minute of their performance was fascinating: beautifully colored twin-guitar harmonies made fleeting appearances like rare animals, bass lines meandered and twisted like snakes and the drums slashed away like a confident guide, cutting the path clear so the rest of the spotted animals could run their dazzling course uninhibited.
The Wolfman Conspiracy and Timbre Coup lit up the dim room at Bishop’s Lounge last Friday. At the end of this marathon performance, during which the Wolfmen covered Stevie Wonder, Flight of the Conchords and the Notorious B.I.G.,, frontman Dom Mazzoli let out final words that summarize The Wolfman Conspiracy.
“We are The Wolfman Conspiracy. We love you. Yes.”
That is the creed of the Wolfmen. Seeing a show of theirs is without question recommended.
Get To Know Wolfman Conspiracy
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The Get To Know section has a great track record of finding some great bands. Wolfman Conspiracy is ...The Get To Know section has a great track record of finding some great bands. Wolfman Conspiracy is yet another band that I can easily say is going to be a band you will want to know more about in the future. If you dont beleive me click the link below to get familiar with this band and listen to 5 amazing tracks.
Behind the Beat: Lycans on the Rise
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"Consider this," says Nicolas Gingras, organ and synthesizer player for local "power reggae" artists..."Consider this," says Nicolas Gingras, organ and synthesizer player for local "power reggae" artists Wolfman Conspiracy. "You're playing your music for hundreds of people, on the most exciting night of the year, at one of the best venues in the area, supporting your favorite once-local band."
For Gingras and company, that dream became a reality on New Year's Eve in Northampton.
Opening for former Valley regulars Rubblebucket and Bella's Bartok, Gingras, along with the other members of Wolfman Conspiracy, had the opportunity to play a groove-filled set to a packed house at the Pearl Street Nightclub. When they finished, they quickly left the stage to join the rest of the crowd in helping ring in 2012.
Still, with a brand new 12 months ready to be filled with more shows and merrymaking, the band isn't ready to step back and bask in such a recent success just yet.
"We are currently recording our second album at Zing Recording Studio in Westfield, Mass. with our producer Eric Arena," says Gingras. "Zing, along with Eric, is most known for recording world-class heavy metal bands such as Killswitch Engage, Underoath and The Devil Wears Prada. With any luck we'll have tracks ready to share in the spring with a full CD release to follow. In the meantime, we have our first EP, AntiVamp, which was completed in June of 2011 and which we are all very proud of."
With upcoming gigs in the Paradise City, Boston, and on both Stowe and Crotched Mountains, the Conspiracy's winter plans are no less busy, and they also come as a direct result of the "more professional and serious agenda" the group has implemented since reforming after a prolonged absence.
First coming together as a "casual college pastime" in 2008, original members of the Wolfman Conspiracy Dominic Mazzoli (guitar, lead vocals), Kyle Mooney (bass) and Gingras joined forces again post-graduation in the spring of 2010, soon adding second guitarist Alex Drenga and a full three-piece brass section consisting of Kathryn Rapacki (trombone), Ryan Emken (saxophone) and Taryn Smith (trumpet).
Gingras says, "All original material was either thrown out or rearranged—it was a pretty substantial process. Rhythms were simplified and shifted down into the pocket with vocal and brass arrangements taking precedence, carrying the main melodies."
What soon emerged was a horn-filled, up-tempo take on '90s ska with a strong rhythmic foundation and influences rooted in classic rock. Much like fellow Western Mass. acts Danny Pease and the Regulators, the Fear Nuttin' Band and Kids on a Hill, the Conspiracy has proven adept at putting a new spin on classic material.
"The overall effect is very interesting for us. It's engaging and is really a blast to play," says Gingras.
He continues, "We immediately knew that the changes made were for the better. The music that came out of practice put a sparkle in our eyes."
As for the story behind his group's unique moniker, the organist isn't nearly as forthcoming. "This is a question we are asked quite often and, unfortunately, are not at liberty to answer," he says.
Wolfman Conspiracy performs Feb. 3, 9 p.m., Bishop's Lounge, 41 Strong Ave., Northampton, (413) 586-8900. For more info, visit www.wolfmanconspiracy.com.
Just A Trip 6:15
Sailing West 4:30
Waffle Stomp 4:45
Cogs In The Machine 4:45
Off The Grid 7:45
Mexican Lullaby 4:45
The Wolfman 5:30
PDF RiderCurrent Wolfman Conspiracy Tech Rider
There are no upcoming dates at this time.