Greatest hits: album reviews

Album of the week: My Love is Cool by Wolf Alice

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 July, 2015, 9:34pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 July, 2015, 9:34pm

Another week, another hotly tipped next big thing. While there's certainly plenty of hype buzzing round British grunge-pop quartet Wolf Alice, can a band youthfully peddling '90s alt-rock as if it never went out of fashion really be your new favourite band?

Following their two acclaimed EPs, the north Londoners' full-length debut not simply a grunge record, "it's much braver than that", insists lead vocalist Ellie Rowsell - it's a "a mix of genres". Formed in 2010 by Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie, this band has taken five years to develop and refine its identity. Now with the addition of a heavy rhythm section, bassist Theo Ellis and drummer Joel Amey, cinematic opener Turn to Dust certainly backs up the band's eclectic promise. Rowsell's ethereal vocals confidently drifting over a gently plucked rhythm, it's brooding and beautiful and a far cry from the chugging noise-pop of Moaning Lisa Smile, arguably the highlight of Wolf Alice's earlier singles.

The atmospheric sound of restraint continues on the subdued mini-anthem Silk before the catchy Freazy reminds us how great and glittery the Cocteau Twins once were. With its quiet-loud-quiet structure, live favourite You're a Germ apes The Pixies without being totally derivative, Rowsell spitting out "You won't go to heaven 'cause I'm taking you down to hell" with gleeful abandon.

The snarl continues with fiery Giant Peach, a scuzzy stampeding riff of a hit single, before Rowsell takes a back seat on Swallowtail as Amey's hypnotic vocals float wonderfully across the heartfelt ballad. Going a long way to justify the hype, Wolf Alice have just thrown the curveball they promised.

Wolf Alice My Love is Cool (Dirty Hit)