Everyone’s favourite stoner pop-punkers Gnarwolves have been making us laugh, cry and go crazy since their inception in 2011. From this monumental date, they have toiled to bring the party to venues across the UK, but does this raw visceral energy come across on recording? Self-Titled album Gnarwolves shows that this is more than possible.
Prove Itstorms in with a ballzy, off-key introduction and in just over two minutes displays precise guitar work, gritty vocals and energetic and rousing drum beats heavily evocative of their hardcore punk roots. Boneyard, despite its name, has a slightly more pop punk feel with a style similar to that of Transit and Real Friends with an upbeat tempo, sudden silences to focus on the emotive lyrics and an all over gradual wind down into an atmospheric and ear-splitting outro of feedback and menacing cymbals.
Then Everything You Think You Know takes it up another notch with the strange contrast of poignant and real lyrics mixed with fast-paced instrumentals that make you dance to the misery and angst relayed through the words.
Bottle to Bottle slows the album with a single chord and bellowing vocals building to a gradual crescendo, as if the prelude to lead single Smoking Kills, encapsulating everything that Gnarwolves stand for: a party attitude shown with a fast paced tempo and gang vocals as the band work as one and pure dedication to music as they blend many different styles and influences to create their own unique style that they truly master.
Another stand out track for me would be Hate Me (Don’t Stand Still). From the grungey bass line that kicks off the track to the last poignant notes it is full of raw energy, heavily reminiscent of bands such as Black Flag and Minor Threat. Its hard for bands that straddle the line of pop punk and punk not to fall closer to either side, but this song proves that Gnarwolves are both fun and pop punk as well as gritty, real and a modern punk band in every respect.
Eat Dynamite Kid provides the perfect culmination to their debut album; whilst it starts fairly similar to every track within the album, it is a song of two halves, in which it begins with a gruelling and arduously heavy explosion of hardcore which you believe ends in two minutes, before it transforms into a melodic and emotive guise that ends the album on a distinctive high.
Gnarwolves truly are a band of two halves; whilst they practice and preach the fun and party side of music, they also show a strong amount of hard work and serious dedication. Whilst these two ethos’ are so opposing, Gnarwolves somehow in their own brand of chaos and lunacy manage to not only balance this but truly make something out of it.