Back doing what they do best, the newest Gnarwolves album is everything you would expect it to be.
Ever since the flurry of impressive EP’s that this Brighton trio released at the inception of their career, Gnarwolves have been steadily making a name for themselves in the alternative music industry. Associated with a resurgence of punk in the more traditional sense, the three-piece are famed for their fast-paced, short but impressionably lasting songs and this is a trend that they have carried throughout their six-year career.
Outsiders is their most recent effort and opens with Straightjacket which is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the album. The casual, conversational opening perfectly sets the tone for what the audience is to expect from the remainder of the album. The guitar is familiarly crunchy with a distinct twang that further emphasises the stumbling punk-vibe that Gnarwolves embody. The vocals of frontman, Thom Weeks, operate in perfect correlation with the sound he is orchestrating through his guitar – scratchy and agitated – the two instruments are entirely synonymous.
One of the dynamics by which Gnarwolves are also discussed is a plodding melancholy sound that features in tracks such as Talking To Your Ghost (a sound that is certainly reminiscent of early efforts from alt-rock icons, Weezer). The chubby bass-lines and repetitive drum beat couple together to form a rather lethargic sounding rhythm section. This is not a pejorative statement – there is certainly a romantic element to this auditory homage of 90’s grunge/alt-rock.
There is no denying that Outsiders is a very good album, and Gnarwolves have done a great job in producing it. However, it must be said that there isn’t much evidence of development or artistic growth throughout the tracks on this album. It is true that Gnarwolves have tapped into a sound that works perfectly for them – they are up there with the best in the industry at the moment when it comes to energetic and exciting punk songs. That being said, it is hard to ignore the notion that we have already heard everything on this newest album, just with the slightest of variations.
I’m a big fan of this album, and the short runtime of just 34 minutes makes it incredibly digestible – therefore, I have absolutely no doubt that I will be returning to Outsiders on numerous occasions. I am eager to see what’s next from Gnarwolves, and I hope that we hear them push the limits of the dynamic that they have already mastered – perhaps it would offer something even better and even more exciting.