London rockers Wolf Alice have been on our radar since making their L.A. debut at Bardot in January, and excitement for their debut album My Love is Cool has been buoyed by subsequent standout performances. The album dropped June 23 off Dirty Hit/RCA Records and it was well worth the wait.
With a sound often times reminiscent of the best of the ’90s alt-grunge movement, Wolf Alice takes things a step further on their debut full-length.
The band is stressing this is “100 percent not a grunge record” that will “surprise people.” That said, “Moaning Lisa Smile” is what prime Alice in Chains would have sounded like if fronted by a female. When it comes time for the catchy chorus, you can picture singer/guitarist Ellie Rowsell’s demonic stare as she rips through it.
“Bros” is the song that first turned me onto this British four-piece, and the song has gotten a bit of a face lift since first appearing on an EP two years ago. As the band has progressed in that time frame, so has the song. The transitions to the bridge and beyond have been smoothed out, undoubtedly smoothed out on the many road trips they’ve tucked under their belt the past 18 months.
All throughout the album, Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie star at the forefront, with bassist Theo Ellis and drummer Joel Amey providing dependable support.
Single “Giant Peach” is a song that opens with a very 80’s hair band guitar lick and expands into a very Ozzy Osbourne-sounding opening verse. The song takes on a depressing tone, a song about feeling stuck in the place you grew up.
On the lighter side, “Lisbon” is a favorite of the more melodic songs on the album. “Feel like running, feel like crack, feel like going out and smashing windows, and smashing windows,” Rowsell sings before later saying, “I will lick your wounds again.” Wolf Alice does a great job of burying the sadness of the lyrics underneath layers of distortion, giving it even more depth.
Wolf Alice has gone a long ways towards conquering the UK based on the strength of their stage game. Now with their first full album out, it’s time for them to conquer the States. My Love is Cool is all the ammunition they need, and more.
Wolf Alice will be back in Los Angeles on August 8 for Alt 98.7’s Summer Camp featuring Matt and Kim, James Bay, Meg Myers and many other great acts. Grab your tickets here.
Words: Mark E. Ortega
1. Turn To Dust
3. Your Loves Whore
4. Moaning Lisa Smile
5. You’re A Germ
9. Giant Peach
11. Soapy Water
13. The Wonderwhy
Wolf Alice Tour Dates:
6/12/15 Warsaw, Poland @ Orange Festival
6/13/15 Aarhus, Denmark @ Northside Festival
6/18/15 New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
6/19/15 Dover, DE @ Firefly Festival
6/21/15 Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands @ Best Kept Secret Festival
6/26/15 Glastonbury, UK @ Glastonbury Festival
7/4/15 Clapham, UK @ Calling Festival
7/12/15 Scotland, UK @ T in the Park
7/18/15 Suffolk, UK @ Latitude Festival
7/19/15 Dublin, Ireland @ Longitude Festival
7/23/15 Melbourne, Australia @ Corner Hotel
7/24/15 Sydney, Australia @ Oxford Art Factory
7/26/15 Tenindewa, Australia @ Splendour in the Grass
8/1/15 Montauk, NY @ Surf Lodge
8/2/15 Philadelphia, PA @ Radio 104.5 Summer Block Series
8/5/15 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
8/6/15 Albany, NY @ The Hollow
8/8/15 Los Angeles, CA @ Alt 98.7 Summer Camp
8/11/15 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
8/12/15 Seattle, WA @ Neumos, WA
8/15/15 Tokyo, Japan @ Summer Sonic
8/26/15 Zurich, Switzerland @ Openair Festival
8/28/15 Paris, France @ Rock En Seine
8/28/15 – 8/30/15 Reading, UK @ Reading & Leeds Festival, UK
9/5/15 Jersey, UK @ Jersey Live
9/12/15 Madrid, Spain @ dcode Festival
9/13/15 Berlin, Germany @ Lollapalooza
9/16/15 Bristol, UK @ Bristol Academy
9/17/15 Birmingham, UK @ Birmingham Institue
9/19/15 Glasgow, Scotland @ Glasgow ABC
9/21/15 Newcastle, UK @ Newcastle University
9/22/15 Sheffield, UK @ Sheffield Plug
9/23/15 Southampton, UK @ Guildhall
9/25/15 Manchester, UK @ Manchester Albert Hall
9/26/15 London, UK @ Brixton Academy
9/29/15 Pawtucket, RI @ The Met
10/1/15 Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
10/3/15 Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall
10/5/15 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/6/15 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
10/9-15 – 10/11/15 Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Festival
10/11/15 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
10/12/15 San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
10/15/15 San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
10/18/15 Dallas, TX @ Trees
11/18/15 Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique – Rotonde
11/19/15 Cologne, Germany @ Luxor
11/20/15 Berlin, Germany @ Lido
11/22/15 Leipzig, Germany @ Taubchenthal
11/23/15 Hamburg, Germany @ Uebel & Gefaehrich
11/24/15 Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Bitterzoet