Monday, August 3, 2015

A Wolf Alice Welcome

Last week, I wrote a guest post for superb sex blogger and self-professed pervert Girl on the Net. It was kind of about Wolf Alice's debut album, My Love is Cool, but it was far more about sex and the way music sounds when you're having it.

If you want to see what happens when amateur music blogging meets even-more-amateur smut writing, you can read my guest blog here; if, on the other hand, you'd rather remain in the dark regarding the finer details of my sex life, feel free to ignore the link above and enjoy this SFW blog post about the Wolf Alice album instead.

What makes the perfect debut album? If anyone knows, it may well be Wolf Alice - they released a truly tremendous debut effort, entitled My Love is Cool, back in June, and it's the perfect example of how to nail your band's first LP.

Every tiny detail of this album is perfectly geared towards cementing Wolf Alice as your new favourite band. For one thing, there's a vast range of styles on show here - without wishing to sound like a cynical marketing executive, My Love is Cool is the perfect portfolio with which to attract new clients fans. There's something here to please rock fans of all stripes; whether you like screamy grunge, straightahead krautrock, cool synth-pop, slow-building shoegaze, or anthemic classic rock, this album's got the whole darn cheeseboard.

But this sonic variety isn't the only thing that makes this record the perfect introduction to Wolf Alice's world. The lyrics, too, are damn near perfect for the task at hand; over the course of these twelve tracks (plus one hidden bonus track), Wolf Alice do a spectacular job of convincing the listener that theirs is a gang worth joining.

The oddly-titled Freazy is the most obvious example; not only is it a great 'Hey, we're [band name]' song, it's a compelling call-to-arms the likes of which I haven't heard since Mull Historical Society's eponymous theme song:

Compare "You can join us if you think you're wild" with Mull Historical Society's "Come on and join us, come join us now" chant.

Elsewhere, you've got all sorts of other reasons to sign up for Wolfpack* membership: Your Love's Whore implores the listener to "take time and get to know me - we could build a perfect world", while Bros features some suggestions that singer Ellie Rowsell may have been "raised by wolves". Every band needs a back story, right? Like that Okkervil River song says, We Need a Myth!

To answer my opening question as best as possible, then: the perfect debut album not only has to introduce us to the band who made it, it has to make us excited about them. It has to whip its listeners into a frenzy until they're begging to jump up on stage and join the band. In this regard, My Love is Cool knocks it out of the park - all the band need now is a sign-up sheet, and they'll soon have a whole army at their disposal.

*The word 'Wolfpack' is used with apologies to Patrick Wolf fans, who sometimes refer to themselves as this. Damn, that would be a hell of a collaboration, wouldn't it? Patrick Wolf and Wolf Alice present: My Magic Position is Cool.

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