Snap Sounds: Munly and the Lupercalians

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MUNLY AND THE LUPERCALIANS
Petr and the Wulf
(Alternative Tentacles)

Munly J. Munly has long been one of the most enigmatic yet prolific figures of the Denver Music scene. And with his latest lineup, concept band The Lupercalians, he’s tapped into a treasure trove of possibility. Ostensibly the first of a series of albums focusing on the imaginary world of the “Kinnery of Lupercalia,” Petr and the Wulf is a dark retelling of the Prokofiev children’s symphony, whose characters are trapped by circumstance and each other in a deadlocked circle of vengeance and fear.

Reminiscent of, yet literal worlds apart from, the down-home fire and brimstone twang of Munly’s other projects (particularly Slim Cessna’s Auto Club), the musical arrangements of Petr and the Wulf are far closer in nature to the original symphony than to a hootenanny: strings, flute, organ, and even a tuba are represented in the mix along with multiple percussionists, a solitary banjo, and intense vocal layers. The last track, an eight-minute spoken-word soliloquy against a wailing wall of percussion-driven sound, exalts in the Wulf’s unrepentant ways: “If I am to be your reprobate,” he intones, “I shall at least enjoy the malefaction,” a phrase that seems just as easily applied to Munly himself.

Munly and the Lupercalians, "Grandfater"

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