A spacy, experimental collective of musicians based in San Francisco, Dire Wolves combine free-flowing improvisation and exploratory psych-rock to create a cosmic sound that ranges from trance-like drones to colorful, swirling rock and avant jazz-folk.
The band's central figure is multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Alexander, a former Deadhead who, since founding Dire Wolves in 2009, has guided them through a prolific assortment of small D.I.Y. releases, compilations, bootlegs, and cassettes, as well as more prominent full-lengths like 2017 Excursions to Cloudland and 2019's Grow Towards the Light.
Alexander spent much of the '80s touring with the Grateful Dead as a taper and working in record stores before settling down on the East Coast, where he was an active presence in the underground acid folk scene in Baltimore with his band the Iditarod. After spending much of the 2000s in Rhode Island running Secret Eye Records and playing in the experimental folk band Black Forest/Black Sea, he put together the first iteration of Dire Wolves in 2009. Early releases often consisted of two lengthy improvised pieces occupying both sides of a self-released cassette as on 2010's Jams and the Giant Peach and 2011's The Creator Has a Faster Van, the latter of which was one of several to credited to Dire Wolves (Absolutely Perfect Brothers Band). Elements of Krautrock, pastoral folk, and out-there jazz bubbled to the surface on any given session depending on the mood and whim of the players, and have included strings, woodwinds, synths, guitars, and eerie chanted vocals.
Sharing space among Dire Wolves' many singles and small-batch output are their official label releases like 2017 Excursions to Cloudland and 2018's Paradisiacal Mind, the latter of which was credited this time to Dire Wolves (Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band). 2019's Grow Towards the Light marked the collective's fourth official LP and was released by New York jam and psych specialists Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi