Matt Berry, Kill the Wolf

Amber Cowan

By Amber Cowan

on 07.17.13 in Reviews

Matt Berry, star of The IT Crowd, isn’t your usual actor-turned-singer. For almost a decade, the comedian with the larger-than-life voice — it’s hard to look at him and not hear Douglas Reynholm booming “Jen!” — has been quietly releasing albums that indulge a decidedly uncommercial obsession with British folk rock and ’70s horror. His fifth, Kill the Wolf, is a beautiful, bewitching set that sounds as gloriously authentic as anything released pre-1974, about “the eternal struggle between good and evil in all of us,” no less. “Gather Up” is a pagan chant that could have come from the soundtrack to The Wicker Man, while “Solstice” is a nine-minute electronic prog epic inspired by both medieval music and Mike Oldfield; it’s testament to how good it is that it has been played in its entirety on radio, more than once. Berry wrote and recorded this album at home in London, playing most of the instruments himself. He might not be able to resist wearing a furry hoof on the cover, but there’s sincerity in every beautifully-crafted groove.