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The Rosendale/New Paltz-area Virginia Wolves’ MySpace page proudly touts the band as “organic rock,” which rightly nails its ultra-earthy acoustic folk-psych sound. The group also makes its macrobiotic philosophy physically manifest with the packaging of its debut Curse of the Kill, which arrives in a handmade, recycled brown paper sleeve printed with soy-based ink. Vocal supporters of environmental protection and animal rights, the Wolves walk their talk but lyrically don’t beat you over the head with the guilt club, as other, more self-righteous, hippie rockers are wont to do.

Despite lead vocalist and songwriter Kelly McNally’s unwavering ecological stance, however, Curse of the Kill’s dominant theme is that of war protest; see the title track, “The War Song,” “Let Me Come Home,” and “Folk Singer,” which spins the yarn of a shell-shocked Vietnam vet who dumps his M16 for a guitar. A varying, five-to-seven piece collective wrapped around the core duo of McNally and back-up singer/multi-instrumentalist Adele Schulz, the band has a wide, droning, patchouli-and-incense-soaked sound that smacks of Jefferson Airplane and, more so to these ears, Grace Slick’s under heard pre-Airplane outfit the Great Society (it makes perfect sense that the group covers the Airplane/Society classic “White Rabbit” live). In addition to McNally’s mournful vocal and percussionist Tommy Be’s bells and chimes, it’s Schulz’s slowly arcing French horn that makes the Wolves stand out from the rest of the, er, pack.—Peter Aaron

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