With such an abundance of pop-punk bands to choose from in today’s punk scene, it’s difficult to not come across any bands which wouldn’t struggle to impersonate each other sound-wise. Therefore, for British pop-punkers Gnarwolves, considering it’s 2013, there’s no better time to evolve the scene from the previous ten years of replications and emulations alike. Could the band’s new EP ‘Funemployed’ be the catalyst for such change?
Typically, at the forefront of genre evolution is forward thinking. Therefore, it would be ideal for upcoming pop-punkers to deviate from the monotonous, compact, clean shaven production that the scene has offered in past times. Luckily, Gnarwolves offer a more drawing, raw, straight-from-the-amp style sound, killing off the abundance of cliché polished production sound and leaving it behind. With each track merging into one another, the record offers a more intimate environment. Tracks such as ‘Melody Has Big Plans’ and ‘Tongue Surfer’ offer much more in a substantial track mergence, rather than settling for a general singular track offering. With fast-paced guitars, vocals that are balanced between melody and angst-filled yelps and drums that hit a high octane tempo, it becomes difficult to push this record the side.
When reiterating the notion of evolution of genre, it may come as strange for such bands as Gnarwolves. Considering the band hardly deviates from such a familiar and established, pop-punk sound on the surface, it’s difficult to pinpoint precisely why the need for evolution would be relevant to them. However, the clue is in the record. With such a musically raw, distinctive sound in itself, the band allow for a more substantial intimate sound, without the need for overly produced vocals or guitars which cling onto production mechanics.
Gnarwolves may not offer anything inherently different lyrically, emotionally or on the surface sound wise to the pop-punk scene. But, the band does take an opportunity that’s rarely taken in the current scene: an opportunity to offer difference. Gnarwolves offer a rawer, intimate production sound, therefore, inheriting a more responsible, intense and exclusive record, allowing the band to mark their territory amongst the crowded scene.
Written by Calv Robinson