Wolf Alice // Live Review

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The Boogaloo – 24th February

Crows, with their hardcore testosterone-filled screamathons, warmed up the crowed with interesting vocals that, to the hand of good old reverb, sounded like a desolate tunnel of droning. Lacking in the melody department, the band made up for this with fat, excellent sounding bass, alongside a musical style that’s best described as unapologetic. The front man managed to bust his lip on the first song, which set the visual tone to how the band probably wanted it anyway: mean, fierce, and imposing. Wrapping things up fairly quickly, to ensure the strongest impact on the stunned audience.

Wolf Alice immediately set the stage alight with sludge rock anthem ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’. The juxtaposition of the polished pop sound and grunge edge makes them a somewhat unique prospect, though this mix has potential for criticism when it comes to their live performance. Fortunately, they’re more than capable in executing their non-genre-specific set list with: over-drive gain sensation ‘Storms’, melancholic heart melter ‘Blush’, along with indie pop sing-along ‘Bros’ – all maintained with the beautifully vast range of Ellie Rowsell’s vocals.

It was in 2013 when they released their first single ‘Fluffy’. Since then, they’ve continuously gained popularity. Now touring across to the states, it’s fair to say that they have the grit to pull this off too. Guitarist Joff Oddie plays with fluidity and precision that suits his Fender Jaguar combination and colourful pedal board nicely, whilst bassist Theo Ellis and drummer Joel Amey add the forever needed momentum of energy – it’s bangers like ‘Storms’ where this really takes effect. They play like a group of friends who are not just in sync musically, but emotionally too.

With all this said, the quartet have a slight sluggishness about them this evening; which is understandable, considering they had just returned from the US, and seemingly have been constantly gigging and shooting videos since. With new single ‘Giant Peach’ out on the same day, and a new album (My Love is Cool) ready for release (July 22nd), they’re showing every sign of hunger. Such is the trajectory of Wolf Alice’s evolution, they’re already leaving behind the conventions of the genre, and are now making the rules themselves.

Ending the show with ‘Fluffy’, which is instrumental in showing the audience that they still have their feet on the ground, despite increasing success. If there’s one thing to be taken away from this gig, it’s that this group are not going to be swallowed by the unforgiving attribute of boring music – at least, not live.

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Wolf Alice played The Boogaloo as part of Converse Rubber Tracks