Three Blind Wolves are the sort of band who eat genre boundaries for breakfast. Although they hail from Scotland, you would barely notice it on their debut album 'Sing Hallelujah for the Old Machine' which exhibits elements of psychedelia, blues and country, while also paying homage to more American rock and indie influences like My Morning Jacket and Pavement.
The album begins with an atmospheric wave of shoegaze-inspired guitar echoes before giving way to the melancholy blues riff of 'In Here Somewhere'. This opening song takes a couple of left turns during its six minutes; just as you think you have them pegged, Three Blind Wolves bring a new flavour to the table. 'In Here Somewhere' acts as something of an overture for what is to follow, while standing on its own as an incredibly inventive piece of music.
The next three songs demonstrate that Three Blind Wolves are a band who are not content to just sit in one particular style for too long. Although much less ambitious and meandering than the opener, 'Tall Man Riding' is a brooding rocker whose loud/quiet dynamic leads to a full on sonic attack. Recent single 'Parade' is rooted somewhere between soulful blues and the more country moments of Drive-By Truckers. 'Edgar's Church' begins almost like a Nick Drake song with quiet acoustics before exploding into cacophony. These songs, while trading on familiar motifs of the blues and the more American side of indie, keep an inventive edge at all times. It is never clear what this band will hit you with next.
The rest of the album builds on the dynamics shown in the first four songs but, at times, the album's second half feels a little lacklustre. 'Honey Fire' has a pleasant, loose, jam feel to it and 'Slow Summer Deer' is a great rock groove with massive hints of Queens of the Stone Age about it but these songs never seem to get to the heights that other songs do. There is nothing overtly bad on display here, but there is a feeling that, on the evidence of the album's first half, they can do better.
All in all, the debut album from Scotland's Three Blind Wolves is, in places, a masterful piece of music. This is a document of a band with a level of ambition and creativity that most bands cannot even dream about. Who knows what they will be capable of given time to grow and develop.