wed 20/09/2017

CD: Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool

CD: Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool

Plenty to love on hotly-tipped Londoners' debut

Enough here to last you a whole summer: Wolf Alice

Do you remember Alisha’s Attic? The '90s sister-duo’s debut was the first album I bought, and it was full of pretty pop songs soaked in vinegar and malice. Wolf Alice, a grunge-pop four-piece from north London, remind me of Alisha’s Attic, at least on those songs fronted by angelic-voiced co-founder Ellie Rowsell - or more specifically, they remind me of Alisha’s Attic if the latter's Shelly and Karen were fronting My Bloody Valentine.

My Love is Cool is a debut five years in the making but its protagonists – Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie, who takes lead vocals on meandering late-album track “Swallowtail” – still sound like that summer where youthful exuberance meets the wariness of young adulthood. So for every giddy, platonic love song like early single “Bros” there’s something like sombre, cinematic opener “Turn To Dust” in which Rowsell’s voice, brittle and bruised, floats above a muddy beat. “Keep your beady eyes on me to make sure I don’t turn to dust,” she croons, and it’s hard to tell if it’s obsession or a threat.

“Your Love's Whore” pairs a huge, melodic chorus with stop-start verses that will make you catch your breath the first time, while “Lisbon” takes the opposite route: cute-whisper dream-pop verses and a crunchy, explosive chorus that deserves ear-splitting volume. “You’re a Germ” is brat-punk perfection, “Giant Peach” a scuzz-pop thrill-ride and “Freazy” a summerhaze call to arms. There are occasional misfires – odd background whispers on “Silk”, a song called “Soapy Water” that struggles to go anywhere – but it’s not long before the band lets itself unravel in the most beautiful of ways again. There’s enough here to love to last you a whole summer.

Overleaf: watch the video for "Bros"


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