Free Ozzy—The Prince of F***ing Darkness is cashing in on another run of Ozzfest, which includes a July 26 stop at Journal Pavilion. Fourteen uneven years after its debut, hope that this festival could retain more integrity than a fatted cash cow seems soundly, painfully extinguished—not least of all by the festival's pandering to "murderous clown" acts like Slipknot. But fans of the Bewildered Evil One have some redeeming incentives to come out this time. (I mean, besides the spectacle of Ozzy's stage handlers dousing his crotch with water at regular intervals ... No sir, no cover for incontinence there!)
The past few years have seen a semi-deluge of wolf-in-name musical ensembles: Wolf Eyes, Wolfmother and now Sea Wolf (this on top of a metal band named Wolf, not to mention Los Lobos). On the debut EP from solitary permanent band member Alex Brown Church, Sea Wolf may be the most promising member of the wolfly titled club. The arrangement is an evocation of moody melody propelled by violins, cellos, lyrical storytelling, astute percussion and a concertina or two. The five songs are mostly lovely and fully worthy of borrowing name and inspiration from Sea Wolf, Jack London's 1904 novel.
At first it was simple pop-rock songs. Well, lighter on the rock, really. "Then things got progressively weirder," says Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear of the Animal Collective. AC members have known each other since grade school in Baltimore, but it wasn't until they all found themselves in New York for one reason or another that things got serious—and weird. If tape manipulations, sound collages and a genre commonly defined as "acid folk" are unfamiliar, "weird" might be a good place to start. Actually, the Collective is unconcerned with defining itself by genre and instead focuses solely on not repeating itself, bringing in elements of modern classical composition, prog-rock, jazz—you name it.