Album Review: Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

My Love Is Cool

wolf-alice-my-love-is-coolReleased 22nd June 2015

Words: Gary Lambert

It seems strange that the Wolf Alice debut album is only coming out now considering how long they have been playing at venues all over the country but fortunately good things come to those who wait as we are treated to a true album of the year contender.

The album opener is Turn to Dust which has a feel of electro folk pop with an almost medieval vibe to the vocal. If in the next few years this isn’t the opening song for a film I will be amazed. It has a wonderful mystery to it and is a great way to open this piece of wonder. The pace then changes in a blink of an eye with second track Bros, a celebration of sibling love rather than 80’s pop stardom. The voice of Ellie Rowsell reminds me strongly of Dolores Riordan in her softer moments with a lovely pentameter to it. There is a feeling controlled power to this track. My personal feeling is that this will sound majestic when getting people to dance in the rain at Glastonbury this weekend – and then anywhere else that people are lucky enough to watch Wolf Alice.

The third track evocatively titled Your Loves Whore mixes an awesome pop vocal with gorgeous simple yet awkward beats and raw guitar demanding the listener’s attention. Following up is the raw, loud guitar and thunderous drums of You’re a Germ. All anger and shouting in contrast to the previous sweetness even the almost spoken verse carries a threat, a graceful anger.

It is back to the non-threatening sound of previous with Lisbon. This is reminiscent of Sleigh Bells at their most poppy which is definitely a good thing in my eyes. Marking the halfway point is Silk. Opening up with a Joy Division baseline to be accompanied by a pairing of beautiful singing with wispy spoken background vocals. This is what Erotica-era Madonna would sound like if recorded today although Silk thankfully avoids tedious tabloid baiting explicit imagery so it is solely an aural comparison. Freazy comes along after that and is probably the most accessible and easy to listen to song on the album. For that it is a bit of a low point for me but low like the top of St Paul’s Cathedral in comparison to The Shard but still soaring over most others around.

Feedback and gristly guitars come with the start of Giant Peach. A song for moshpits and steam rising. Industrial, methodical and marching. And magnificent! A return to the folky roots comes with Swallowtail, sung this time by Joff Amey, this slows the album pace and allows the listener the treat of getting their breath back whilst still building to that complex trademark Wolf Alice sound and a truly enjoyable thrash out at the end of the track.

Soapy Water is like a cool version of Kate Nash and similar quirky sounding songstresses with a heavily stressed rhyming sequence but thankfully without a Bontempi in sight. Traditional final track Fluffy is neither the final track (there is a hidden one which is a tactic that doesn’t work in the iTunes track listing era) nor fluffy as it is the heaviest sounding song on the album. And it is a great way to end the album proper with their debut single which got us all excited in 2013.

The hidden track is The Wonderwhy. To keep with the flavour of a hidden track I am not going to describe it. Just listen to everything and then realise you’ve got the treat of one song left. It has been a long time since an album has left me so disappointed that it has finished but punching the air excited that it is complete. I could have listened to this over and over. Now ask yourself two questions: Do I like music? Do I have the price of an album in my bank account? If two yes answers, go out and get this album. If yes and no, wait until it is yes and yes and then go out and get this album. Wolf Alice, you should be proud of the excitement you have brought.

Watch the video for Giant Peach here:

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