Adolescence EP

Written by: PP on 13/01/2016 23:37:40

To keep the upwards momentum brought by a packed Reading/Leeds appearance, a European tour, and the release of debut album "Gnarwolves" in late 2014, Gnarwolves recorded a four-track EP called "Adolescence", probably so fans wouldn't forget their existence. Perhaps they should have waited. The EP feels rushed and puzzled, best exemplified by the completely out-of-place, emotionally-charged acoustic ballad "Blondie", whose slow tempo and lo-fi production take the song nowhere.

What it does, in effect, is to break the high energy punk onslaught the first two tracks delivered, where the band continue to reference the excellent raw, coarsely yelled punk rock of early Polar Bear Club from their "The Redder, The Better" EP years. Especially "Bad Dreams" does this very well: their signature tight, technical riffs are in a prominent role, whilst the band's half-screamed, half-sung vocals are pretty much unchanged from the debut album. Coarse and roughened around the edges, they are passionate and raw in just the way that ignites punk crowds into a frenzy. In that sense, "Daydreamer" and opener "Bad Dreams" are both good songs because they fall into the breakneck speed, technical punk category that usually always sounds good enough due to the sheer amount of things happening in the soundscape. That's why "Blondie" just doesn't make any sense on an eight and a half minute EP because it messes up the whole flow so badly. It also ends abruptly, so the whole track feels like an accident and leaves a bad taste in your mouth every time.

So what's missing otherwise? Well, if you long after the passionate, emotional and honesty-driven anthems like "Bottle To Bottle" or "Smoking Kills" that elevated the band into infamy in their native UK, this EP doesn't provide such tracks. Instead, it showcases the punk side of Gnarwolves, which they've always been good at. But what made the band great on the debut was the variety between the pedal-to-the-floor punk rock and the coarsely sung anthems. That's just not present here in sufficient form.

Download: The Waiting Line, Bad Dreams
For the fans of: Polar Bear Club, Half Hearted Hero
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.11.2015
Pure Noise Records

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