EP: Gnarwolves – Adolescence
November 13th, 2015
In a time where pop-punk has re-emerged as a genre to take heed of, you may be forgiven for wondering where core punk rock has gone. Look no further, as the new EP ‘Adolescence’ from Brighton-via-Cornwall trio Gnarwolves comes only a year after their debut self-titled LP. With four tracks weighing in at a pacey eight and a half minutes, this is unmistakeably an old school punk rock release.
Along with those core punk elements is a clear nod to D.C. hardcore, which is evidenced throughout ‘Adolescence’. The music is short, heavy, and frenetic, with vocal melodies combining seamlessly with relentless drum pummelling and some insanely catchy riffs. Opening track ‘The Waiting Line’ showcases all of this with a massive mosh pit-inducing climax.
Vocalist Thom Weeks delivers line after line of melodic energy despite the majority of the lyrical content appearing to be of a morose, political nature underpinning a sense of society collapsing everywhere. But don’t be fooled; there are plenty of moments where he quickly turns direction into snarling leers and impassioned growling to cement that emotive approach.
Despite the short length of the EP, the band have managed to fit in an array of musical styles and combinations. After the building tension throughout ‘Daydreamer’, the eerily acoustic-led number ‘Blondie’ shows just how versatile this band can be. This track then segues without hesitation to EP closer ‘Bad Dreams’, which showcases musical inconsistencies, grittier vocals, and a chorus that was written for the live environment.
The band have tapped into the essence of what made bands such as NOFX, Pennywise, and Rancid exciting and vibrant back in the day. However, whilst what’s here is undoubtedly very, very good, it’s over far too soon and leaves you craving for more. With the turnaround of new material within the band notably fast and the increasing number of tours played over the last couple of years increasing their profile, we should hopefully be able to hear a sophomore LP in no time!
Written by Neil Criddle