Le Loup

Reports from those who have seen Le Loup live say the album sounds thin compared to their shows. That’s because the album, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly, is the handiwork of frontman Sam Simkoff pre seven-piece live band. Simkoff, if you buy into the focal points of the band’s promo shots, looks like the indie rock version of Woody Allen: horn-rimmed glasses, basic collared shirts and khakis. In fact, the band’s bio, not to mention the album title, reads like a set up to a Woody Allen joke: inspired by Dante’s Inferno and and ’50s folk artist James Hampton, Simkoff the banjo player… The outcome is anything but comical. Flying solo, Simkoff succeeds at creating small epics like “We Are Wolves! We Are Gods!” spaced-out pop songs sounding like a hybrid of Devendra Banhart and Say Hi To Your Mom with the jamming tendencies of Animal Collective. With his trusty troupe of troubadours in tow I have no doubt he can translate his bedroom vision into something grand.