Feeling a little nostalgic for the 90’s? Then you maybe want to give Wolf Alice and their much anticipated full length debut album My Love Is Cool a listen. Wolf Alice boasts a familiarly inspired sound and while many have likened them to bands like Hole and Sonic Youth, their throwback vibes are tempered with their own breed of modern day grunge.
Wolf Alice may have started out as a folk duo (Between lead singer Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie) but after 3 EP’s and constant genre fluctuation it appears that for their first full-length album they have settled on a sound that manages to be both gritty and sugary sweet. Rumours have been circulating that Wolf Alice may be grunge’s second coming, but personally I think that Wolf Alice is too cool for school to be pigeon held.
“Moaning Lisa Smile” opens with a Nirvana unplugged style vibe only to explode into some fuzzy riffage and lead singer Ellie Rowsell’s pretty riot grrrl vocals: “Scrap the blues, if the blues don’t work/ flash your teeth though the inside hurts”. She snarls over Elastica echoes and haunting reverb. I recommend giving the music video for Lisa a watch as well, if you care for an intrepid audio/visual combination. Think “Smells like Teen Spirit” meets Too Wong Fu and Napoleon Dynamite.
“Giant Peach” is a dizzying introduction of steady yet cyclonic guitars simmering beneath Rowsell’s wails and whispers and whole lot of distortion. Like most of their songs, Giant Peach manages to be both a headbanger and an earworm. Something the band does really well over the whole album.
There are a lot of deja vu moments in My Love Is Cool and although the band wears their influences well, you can tell Wolf Alice does not wish to be a part of the pick-a-genre already club. “ You’re A Germ” is a messy punk rock frankenstein that flickers manically between playfully juvenile and creepy. Then you have a song like “Bros” that shows a softer and more ethereal side to the band. The ironically titled track is a dreamy haze recalling the story of a young friendship between girls. Rowsell coo’s: “Are your lights on? /Are your lights still on?/ I’ll keep you safe / You keep me strong”.
Clearly, Wolf Alice is the perfect name for a band that can’t decide what story they would like to be in or whether they prefer to play the bad guy or the hero, but I think this is what makes Wolf Alice such an interesting and unique band. My Love Is Cool is filled with so many blended genres, voices and emotions it really makes me wonder why other bands are so comfortable being slaves to a single sound. Second coming of grunge? I think Wolf Alice has bigger plans.
Kasandra Martinez is a copywriter/blogger from Toronto who loves writing and covering hip-hop songs on her ukulele.
Check out some of her stuff at www.kasandrawrites.com