There has been a massive buzz around Gnarwolves for a few months now and with the release of their new ‘Cru’ EP, the band go quite a long way to justifying the hype. The band ply their trade in up-tempo and upbeat punk rock that, in places, is very reminiscent of Against Me! and also a ‘Your Favourite Weapon’-era of Brand New. ‘Cru’ is full of poppy hooks and riffs that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, but these are often contrasted by a slightly raw vocal style.
At first, the vocals may feel almost secondary to the instrumentation, but on a closer listen and with a bit more attention paid to the lyrics, songs such as ‘A Gram Is Better Than A Damn’ come into their own. “Getting wasted makes me fucking crazy” yelps frontman Thom over a strung out guitar melody and you absolutely believe that this is a guy singing about partying, because hey, he loves partying.
‘Cru’ moves along at a pace that suits the music; 6 songs in 12 minutes certainley doesn’t beat around the bush, but unlike a lot of short EPs it doesn’t leave you wanting at all. The final 30 seconds of ‘Coffee’ sound like they could have been borrowed straight from a Brand New recording session and it’s the familiarity of the music that adds to the charm of this record. Instead of feeling like Gnarwolves have ‘copied’ anyone, the bits where you can put a band to the music feel like a very pleasant homage.
Gnarwolves list their band interests as ‘sweet music, drinking lagerbeers and skateboarding’, and if you’re a fan of any of these things then ‘Cru’ is definitely worth giving a listen to. This may be the start of something very good from Gnarwolves and they deserve the plaudits they have received thus far.
Written by Josh Peett