Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Album Review: Gnarwolves by Gnarwolves

One of the first things I did when I started this blog was wax lyrical about one of my favourite and one of the very best bands in the UK punk scene, Brighton’s Gnarwolves. After another amazing summer for the three piece, where they played the main stage and Reading and Leeds Festivals they release their self titled debut album, one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year. Here’s a review of it.

The album explodes into life with some trademark Gnarwolves almost metal like chords before some vocals that switch between singing and screaming kick in. Mixing the vocal styles up is something Gnarwolves do really well and adds a layer or intensity to their songs. Straight away I can imagine the opening track Prove It being played live, with bodies flying everywhere and a huge sing along. Prove it is followed by Boneyard. Driven on by some fantastic drumming from Max the intensity continues as the band sing about drinking to get past the feeling of loneliness.

Everything You Think You Know starts off with some emo sounding guitar chords before Thom and Charlie’s aggressive singing style join the party. On first listen this was one of the stand out tracks on the album, a more poppy sounding song with another sing along chorus. This is followed by another stand out track named Bottle To Bottle. This songs begins with just Thom singing accompanied by a simple guitar strum before the rest of the band join in for one of the slower paced songs on the album.

The next song Smoking Kills was the first song released for the album. This song was a bit of a grower for me, I wasn’t completely convinced by it on first listen but after a few I loved it. The song is about being able to escape from a bad situation you were born into. Yet another catchy sing along chorus. The other song Gnarwolves released early was Day Man. This song has a pop punk feel to it, but unlike a lot of bands who feel the need to sing pop punk in an accent close to our American brothers Gnarwolves stick to their own accents and that gives Day One a refreshing feel. It’s about not being afraid to take a chance and explore something new and being brave enough to leave behind what you love. I absolutely love the bridge towards the end of the song that goes “if you must die then die for something, if you’re gonna follow lets yank the carpet out.”

The next song Hate Me (Don’t Stand Still) reminds me of Coffee from Gnarwolves Cru EP with the changes in tempo. It starts off at a mid tempo before slowing down for the second two thirds of the song. It’s an interesting technique and leaves you listening for more.

The next two song Ebb and Flow could easily fit into one song. Ebb is another slow burner before it jumps up a gear in Flow. I’m not sure why they didn’t just make this into one song, I’m certain when they play it live it will be played as one. Ebb and Flow are followed by the final song on the album – Eat Dynamite, Kid. The song showcases Charlie’s excellent bass playing whilst Max provides another driving drum beat. A fast paced song to close out a debut album with really lived up to its hype. Every time I have listened to it I have found something else I like. Gnarwolves are about to take over the world. 

Now listening to Fine, Great by Modern Baseball

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