“Keep your beading eyes on me,” demands Ellie Rowsell from track one of the anticipated debut from Wolf Alice, My Love is Cool. We’ve been keeping our eyes on these guys for a while, watching and waiting patiently since 2010 for the North London four piece to release their debut, and man it was worth the wait.
For a band, debut albums are a big deal in defining the sound they are leaning towards. Categorised as grunge revivalists by most, Wolf Alice take pride in tearing expectations through their defiance of playing any specific genre on My Love is Cool.
My Love Is Cool is an expressive and innovative whiplash between blistering sounds and eclectic styles that proves Wolf Alice are no one-trick pony.
Produced by Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals), Wolf Alice are now the proud owners of one the most fearless debut of the decade, and are reaping the benefits of being creative innovators in the current indie music circuit. The album dips into songs from different ends of the music spectrum, pulsating with their own rambunctious spirit.
The ragged rock kids have been dominating the London rock scene since 2012, flirting with different genres throughout their singles and EPs including their post-grunge hit Moaning Lisa Smile. Members Ellies Rowsell (vocals, guitar) and Joff Oddie (guitar, vocals) began in 2010 as a neo-folk group adding themselves to an already densely populated music scene. The smart switch to build on a rhythm rock section with mates Theo Ellies (bass) and Joel Amey (drums) would lead them to regular roaring live shows and a newly constructed sound.
Named after a late-seventies short story by Angela Carter about a feral girl raised by wolves, like the band, the author tended to reveal the twists and darkness of every story. Rowsell told NME that My Love is Cool is “100 per cent not a grunge record, its a much braver record than that. There’s a mix of genres on it. We’re using our instruments in different ways, like Joff using his guitar as a synth” – see Giant Peach
The first track Turn to Dust is a big smack in the media’s face for attempting to categorise their sound as 90s grunge. Rowsell coos over a misty beat of soft drumming and enchanting guitar work. The beguiling track calls to mind the seductiveness of the Cocteua Twins as it quickly accelerates into a thick lush soundscape. The album twists and turns at every corner, changing direction but staying true to Wolf Alice’s authentic sound.
Bros is a nostalgic indie-pop dream of best friend memories and imagination, as Rowsell’s gleaming vocals float above a fluttering drum pattern. The not-so radio friendly Your Loves Whore is a dramatic shoegaze shift in the album that holds a kicking bassline with stop-start verses, proving how well silence can be harnessed to enhance a song.
Other highlights include the brat-punk anthems of You’re a Germ and Lisbon which have taken the roles of designated head bangers at the live shows. The album has been carefully constructed to ensure there is a balance between loud-quiet-loud, to keep the listener on their feet and wanting more. Amey takes lead vocals on Swallowtail, starting off gently before crashing into thunderous rock. The track represents the album in whole by changing genre and shape throughout. Fluffy is a raw force with a dragged out instrumental intro and screeching vocals in the chorus. My Love is Cool is entirely expressive and innovative whilst staying honest to Wolf Alice’s true sound, the band has caused a raucous in the London music scene for sure.
Check out their upcoming Aussie shows:
Thursday 23rd July 2015 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Friday 24th July 2015 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
24/25/26th July 2015 – Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay