Wolf Alice has been on my watch list ever since the epic videos for Blush and She came out. They told great stories of finding your true self and had the introduction to Ellie’s saccharine voice against grungy guitars.
They have continued to evolve and did not disappoint live at SXSW this year. The anticipation of their debut album has been palpable. With pretty solid tracks being released with the ever popular “Moaning LIsa Smile” their popularity has continued to increase.
We now have their debut album release of My Love Is Cool and this album has something for everyone. All 13 tracks (if you include “The Wonderwhy”) showcase the sweet yet sometimes fierce vocals and smart guitar work of Ellie Roswell, the scuzzy guitars of Joff Oddie, the bass of Theo Ellis and the percussion of Joel Amey.
The album starts out with a gem of a track “Turn To Dust” which has a tinge of shoegaze mixed in and pinpoint vocals “keep your beady eyes on me to make sure I don’t turn to dust”. The radio friendly pop rock gem “Bros” is next followed by “Your Loves Whore” which is a nice pop friendly grunge track. The ever popular “Moaning Lisa Smile” is next which helped bring Wolf Alice to a wider audience with the prominent chorus and scuzzy guitars. “You’re a Germ” has a bit of punk wrapped in with Roswell taking to screaming throughout a few of the lyrics. “Lisbon” is another harmonious psych-grunge rock track singing about “smoking your menthols” and “smashing windows” which also has a few punky outbursts mixed in. “Silk” is actually one of the curveballs I wasn’t expecting which takes the quartet to a slower and deeper place where Ellie sings about not being left alone and possibly questioning her past and the fact that her love is killing her slowly.
“Freazy” is a quick yet hook laden track which has the lyrics “our love is cool” with a little bit of reverb and psych throughout. “Giant Peach” is another single released that leans a bit toward the psych rock side with just the perfect amount of scuzzy guitar mixed behind Roswell’s punky sounding vocals on this track. “Swallowtail” also takes another turn for me with drummer Joel Amey offering nice male vocals and acoustic guitar to this track. This lets me know there are two talented singers in this band and that could play to their favor in the future if they were to collaborate together on more songs. Although “Swallowtail” is a bit long and starts off slow, it erupts into a thrashy rock song at the very end. “Soapy Water” speaks more about the theme and fear of being alone. It’s a slower track that focuses on Roswell’s dreamy vocals with laid back percussion and guitar. “Fluffy” is another punk filled one with dual vocals and provides more of Roswell and her high pitched screamy vocals which totally works for this track. The hidden track “The Wonderwhy” is another one that contemplates answers about the unknown like “what happens when we die” and “don’t leave me here”. It closes out the album with heavy percussion, a male chorus singing in the background and Ellie ending it with rap-like lyrics.
While My Love Is Cool lacks in cohesion as a whole, it definitely makes up in diversity and talent. Their debut album is a promising start to what could be a very long and successful career for this foursome from North London.
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