2014 has undoubtedly been a career defining year for Gnarwolves. They released their debut album to extremely positive reviews (hereis mine), they opened the main stage at Reading and Leeds festival, made their debut Fest appearance, toured the USA and are currently on a headline tour of Europe and the UK with Prawn and Public Domain. Last week they played a sold out show at the Underworld in Camden, naturally I went along.
First up were Austrian hardcore punks Public Domain. After dedicating the whole of their set to anybody that skateboards Public Domain stormed through their set with their front man being a whirlwind of energy as he paced back and forth across the stage. Public Domain are one of the finest hardcore punk bands I have heard in a while, they excelled at everything I like about the genre. They played fast and loud and took absolutely no prisoners. Public Domain really kicked off the night in a great fashion.
Up next were Prawn from New Jersey. Prawn describe themselves as an indie/punk band and they reminded me a lot of probably the second biggest success story of the year in UK punk, Moose Blood. I had never heard of Prawn before but it was clear a fair few of the now full Underworld crowd had. It’s always nice to see a support band getting a decent amount of love from the crowd and Prawn seemed to really appreciate it claiming that this was probably the biggest crowd that they have ever played for. Prawn really impressed me, combining jangling guitars with heartfelt vocals they had me hooked from beginning to end. These gentlemen are definitely a band to watch out for; I’m expecting big big things.
It really doesn’t seem that long ago that I saw Gnarwolves for the first time. That was towards the end of 2012 opening up for Joyce Manor at the Old Blue Last with Bangers and Apologies, I Have None. Then a relative unknown it’s amazing to see how far the trio have come in such a short space of time, especially for a DIY punk band. It really goes to show that you really don’t need to make appearances on TV talent shows to get ahead in the music world, you can get what you want from an incredible work ethic, getting out and actually playing shows whenever and wherever you can does pay off. It also helps that you have a fantastic talent for song writing, something Gnarwolves have in spades. Starting out two of the lead songs from their self titled debut Smoking Kills and Bottle To Bottle the Underworld becomes a huge mass of bodies singing at the top of their lungs. The chorus from Smoking Kills that goes “We Are The Product Of A Broken Class But, We Weren’t Raised To Be Fucking Morons” really seemed to strike a chord with the young and old punks in attendance. Gnarwolves shows are notorious for getting extremely rowdy with fans relentlessly join the band on stage and dive back onto the crowd. There is a sense of joyous carnage and celebration throughout the set, everyone seemingly wanting to celebrate the success of Gnarwolves year. Their set flew by as they played songs from the entire back catalogue, all of which got massive reactions. The biggest reaction of the night came for Limerence. I’ve not heard many bigger sing alongs for any song at any gig than I did for Limerence, I felt goose bumps during the opening lines “A Mixture Of All The Things You Didn’t Want To Do, A Certain Someone Who Reminds You Of All The Things You Did, But Didn’t want to.”
This really did feel like a celebration for Gnarwolves amazing year. They are a real success story from our scene and I’m really excited to see just how far they can go. The sky seems to be the limit for these boys.
Check out Public Domain here: https://www.facebook.com/publicdomainskatepunks
Check out Prawn here: https://www.facebook.com/Prawnmusic
Check out Gnarwolves here: https://www.facebook.com/Gnarwolves
Now listening to Somewhere Better by Harker