Review: Gnarwolves – Adolescence EP

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Raw, fast and angry. Punk rock at its finest.

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Skater punk trio Gnarwolves return to their hardcore punk roots in their latest EP Adolescence. Following up their acclaimed self-titled debut last year, brothers Thom and Max Weeks and bassist Charlie Piper are back with their own brand of gritty, visceral punk rock.

Consisting of four tracks, this ten minute ear assault marks a distinct step away from the pop punk scene with some of their heaviest work yet, epitomised by opening track ‘The Waiting Line’. This first single, powered by its relentless drums and gruff vocals, brings all the energy that we’ve come to expect of a classic Gnarwolves tune, yet still remains very much focussed on the same sense of restlessness and frustration that saturates the EP.

Following this theme the frantic ‘Daydreamer’, while not overtly political, addresses attitudes towards societal expectation, appealing to the listener not to think of a weekend indulging in your dreams as “gone to waste”.  With a rougher vocal style and their joint harmonies better than ever, especially during the chorus, ‘Daydreamer’ manages to make a statement about the rigid structure and set path that people have come to accept for their lives. All of this, without losing the same ‘keep it real’ attitude that is integral to their musical approach and seen all throughout their discography.

In contrast the next song ‘Blondie’ replaces the aggressive instrumentation with a desperate acoustic track by Thom as the band pay tribute to the new wave punk pioneers of the same name. This track, inspired by the number five chart hit ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ then builds immediately into the closing ‘Bad Dreams’ where the solo guitar is replaced by fast trashy riffs, a heavy bass line and pounding drum beats.

Throughout the EP each member excels through their performance with Max’s rapid drum fills complemented by the shared vocals as Gnarwolves once again prove themselves to be one of the most exciting bands in the modern British punk scene. So like the title suggests, Adolescence is not only an angsty ode to their youth but also very much a maturation of Gnarwolves’ sound as they return to their darker and punkier origins.

If only it was just a bit longer.

Adolescence is out now via Pure Noise Records

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