Review: Wolf Alice

Review - Wolf Alice - pic

O2 ABC 19/10/15

By Rachael Morris, Music Editor


The London four-piece, alt-rock band Wolf Alice dented the musical background of 2015 with the release of their debut album, ‘My Love is Cool’ in June this year. Their dreamy garage-grunge drew one of the most eclectic mixes of fans I’ve ever seen to their Glasgow show at the O2 ABC. Lead singer, Ellie Roswell’s, charged voice opens the set with ‘My Love is Cool’. Face adorned with glitter in a simple black dress, Roswell remains enviously and effortlessly cool throughout the hour long set. Around half way Joel Amey, Wolf Alice’s drummer, picks up the microphone for the softer ‘Swallowtail’ and provides a welcome breather between blocks of indie grunge. ‘Bros’ and ‘You’re a Germ’ serve as heavier and catchier highlights throughout a set which, at times, lacks dynamism. This isn’t helped by the band’s lack of interaction with the crowd. Despite this, the typically Glaswegian crowd, loud and raucous, seem pleased with the off kilter indie rock. Wolf Alice performed a set which, at its peaks, remained big without becoming brazen and sounded ‘anthemic’ without ticking industry boxes and this cannot be overlooked as a huge achievement for a debut album.

I caught up with the Ellie, Joel, Joff and Theo ahead of their Glasgow show:


How is the tour going?

It’s been amazing. We’re very excited to be here.

Critics often comment that your music doesn’t fit into one genre. Do you think by avoiding a single identity you allowed yourselves more freedom?

Joel – Maybe by not having the same identity as another band you just get given your own identity even if it isn’t something that’s already got a tag or a label. I think you can kind of sit outside other peoples’ genres and things you don’t have to be a rock band just because some of your songs are indie rock. So it might help us stand out slightly, unintentionally.

Do you think perceptions of genre are still relevant now?

Theo – We should be genre-less. It is playlist culture and stuff. We listen to so much different stuff now.

Joel – I still think hardcore punk bands are always going to be hardcore punk bands. That’s their drive and that’s their thing. I don’t think any of us would judge a band for wanting to have a sound.

You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you all individually have very different influences and inspirations but what do you think ties you together?

Joel – We’re all of a similar age and all grew up listening to guitar music so we’ve all got a similar foundation. We all love Queens of the Stone Age, The Vines and PJ Harvey – there are bands that unite all of us.

Theo – I think it’s a good thing for everyone to be into a little bit of something else. And actually we’re not that different musically. It’s just I like grime and Joff likes folk music.

What are you currently listening to?

Joel – Drenge’s second record is genuinely one of my favour records of recent times. I think that’s a really great, fresh, dark British guitar record.

Theo – I’m listening to Stormzy literally non-stop at the moment. He just released a new freestyle that reached 18 in the charts with no label which is amazing. And it’s fucking sick as well – WickedSkengMan 4

If you could play in any other band, who would you pick?

Theo – Boy Better Know – the rap group.

Ellie – Something like Little Mix. I need something with a dance routine.

Joel – I think I’d like to be in the Beatles. They seem to have done really really well for themselves over the years.

Theo – Hawkwind, fuck it. No, I don’t mean that.

And, lastly, what’s next for you all – a break after the tour or keep going until you drop?

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