By Declan Roberts (@DeclanMR)
When a new London band strikes the scene every journalist around tries to catch a grip on what sort of genre they play into. A band exists to be pigeonholed. For Wolf Alice however, no one can really put a finger on it. The first two EPs featured calm and catchy singalongs. At that point, they were regularly placed under the unimaginative banner of “indie”. But a debut album is an opportune moment to shift perceptions. Once again Wolf Alice cast their shadow over the norm and bring us a melting pot of a record, mixed up in every genre in the alternative bracket you could possibly imagine.
Let’s start with the familiar. Previous singles ‘Bros’ and ‘Fluffy’ have been re-recorded here, adding needed freshness. The first single taken from ‘My Love Is Cool’ was ‘Giant Peach’, a blistering four and half minutes of sharp guitar tones conjoined with Ellie’s beautifully executed grunge howls. ‘You’re A Germ’ was the next to be unveiled (a favourite an Annie Mac, no less), a song that is as every bit as savage as the title might suggest. It’s hard to avoid imagining a chaotic scene of the whole band smashing the shit out of all their instruments as the witch-cackle finale brings the creepy vibes. Cinematic glitter-ball opener ‘Turn To Dust’ demands immediate and multiple spins, while ‘Your Loves Whore’ takes a shoegaze route straight to Slowdive’s ‘Souvlaki’ era. ‘Freazy’ carries this theme through later on in the tracklist.
‘Lisbon’ conjures its contemporaries with Beach House elements and Sleater-Kinney’s outbursts. ‘Soapy Water’ meanwhile is part Chvrches and part Poliça. One thing’s for sure, if Zane Lowe decides to re-score the Drive soundtrack yet again (and, surely, it should be an annual occurrence?) this track has got to be on it. ‘My Love Is Cool’ is a powerful and undeniably creative effort that stands as a great example of the inventive music scene our capital is currently fostering. Record of the year contender? You bet.