It seems like an age since Wolf Alice released their self-titled EP in early 2013. Two further EPs have followed, but finally their long awaited first full length LP is out. My Love is Cool.
The record starts softly, showcasing Ellie Rowsell’s crystal clear voice on opener ‘Turn To Dust’. Next up is ‘Bros’, anyone familiar with Wolf Alice will know this song as it was one of the first songs they ever recorded. This reworking adds extra production and a chorus, which makes it a little less raw than the original. It takes until the fourth song ‘You’re a Germ’ for the band to fully break into their signature 90s alt rock/grunge revivalist sound. The track itself is about the unsettling intimate relationship between an adult and a teenage high schooler, covered in swathes of Pixies-esque guitars.
On the track ‘Silk’ the band change things up a bit swapping the guitar-bass-drums formula for minimalist synth stabs and echoey guitars. Rowsell also displays her dynamic vocals, which are layered on top of one another to great effect. ‘Freazy’ is next which right from the very start is a 90s throwback pop song with similarities in production to ‘Pure Shores’ by All Saints, and provides light relief after the serious topic of the previous song.
Following on from this is the main single ‘Giant Peach’ which is probably the heaviest on the album, the songs builds up to a massive riff/solo at the end which is executed sublimely and doesn’t descend in to out and out cock-rock. ‘Swallowtail’ follows which is an acoustic ballad sung by the band’s drummer Joel Amey; his dulcet male vocals are juxtaposed by the loud untamed female shrieks that preceded it, the song progresses to a pleasing outro.
The penultimate song on the album is another reworking of one of the band’s fan favourites ‘Fluffy’. Rowsell’s feral vocal style shows up again and the song flows straight into the closer ‘The Wonderwhy’, which has an interesting ending where Rowsell delivers a spoken verse over a drum machine.
Overall, in a time when a host of mediocre indie bands are onto or past their third album and festival headliners tend to be pushing 40 and above, it’s refreshing to see a new breed coming through with a bit more bite and range. And with the album reaching number two in the charts, only 500 sales away from number one, the future looks bright for Wolf Alice. This album might not completely revitalise the alt-rock scene but it definitely pushes it in the right direction and hopefully other bands follow suit.