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You would be forgiven for hating Sea Wolf based solely on its name: The great "wolf"-based band-name craze imploded in 2005, and the "sea" appellation seems tailor-made to capitalize on the current pirates-'n'-shanties zeitgeist. But if you can get past the band's name it's a Jack London reference, if that helps Sea Wolf inhabits a cozy pocket of bucolic folk-pop that settles somewhere between Rogue Wave's California dreams and Matt Pond PA's woodsy, earthen reveries. The band does sneak in a little seafaring music, courtesy of "Winter Windows" from the just-released album Leaves in the River. But unlike head Decemberist Colin Meloy's unhinged nautical fantasies, leader Alex Brown Church and Sea Wolf keep the shanties grounded with a simple, lithe rhythm section, while accordions and strings float upon the salty air. Sea Wolf opens for Nada Surf.
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