Praised as the pioneers of a 90s grunge revival, London quartet Wolf Alice spent most of 2014 bothering the blogosphere with the impulsive actions of a band who like the volume high and the guitar riffs large. The debut album ‘My Love is Cool’ is released in the UK next Monday (June 22) on Dirty Hit Records and continues on from the immaculate ‘Creature Songs’ EP.
The band had already warned this was not a purely grunge album and the opener ‘Turn To Dust’ is the first example as this breathy, melodic track feels quite an unexpected way to open one of the most anticipated UK guitar albums of the year. ‘Bros’ quickly takes over with its recognisable multi-percussive introduction and reworked shimmering production. The minimalism, lyrical voice, spurring beat and the quiet nature of the readymade anthemic choral bridge really encapsulates the power of Wolf Alice.
‘Freazy’ echoes the sentiment of the early single with a slow burning bridge that simmers bright blue as opposed to launching into a Catherine-wheel crescendo whilst holding your attention with equal intensity. ‘You’re A Germ’ is a louder affair with ominous multi-vocal layering over snarling guitar which shakes the track to an extent it feels as though it could self combust at any moment before a regimented choral chant of ‘Eyes Wide’ patches the sides back together. It is fantastic to see the addition of ‘Fluffy’ at the near closure of the album as its unpredictable narrative, haunting dual vocal structure and painfully honest lyric remains to be Wolf Alice at their most charming.
Anybody with prior knowledge of this band knows that even the most downplayed track on this record is going to be torn apart limb from limb when Ellie Roswell and co take to stages across the globe this festival season in order to cement their reputation as one of the most exciting new acts to surface. This ferocity is slightly under translated on the debut albeit apart from ‘Giant Peach’ which is a snarling, unapologetic beastly four minute sonar-scape with enough untempered attitude to allow itself a 90 second long instrumental introduction. This track summates the boiling potential of Wolf Alice and the brilliance of this debut as the quieter moments only aid to emphasise the nervous anticipation of its vocal bridge.
This band is far from the saviour of grunge as Wolf Alice are not the first band to have dipped their toes into this genre with Deap Vally, The Joy Formidable and Savages having all preceded them. However with the support of institutions including Radio 1, 6Music and NME Wolf Alice may be the first band in a while to open up this classic genre to the wider spectrum and ‘My Love is Cool’ is undoubtedly the strongest weapon in their current arsenal.