It can be hard to make a lasting impression in nine minutes, but Brighton punks Gnarwolves have a history for doing just that. Having spent the majority of 2015 either on the road or playing in other bands, the “CRU” have returned with ‘Adolescence’. Influenced by Washington D.C. hardcore, the EP marks a transition for the band from the party-fuelled, skate-punk numbers of old to a more socially-conscious approach from a band that are resentful of the establishment and frustrated with the instability that they and their friends find themselves in.
‘The Waiting Line’ rattles away with blistering drum work and Thom Weeks’ familiar melodic, gruff vocals with an angst-y undertone with chugging guitars halfway through. It gives way to ‘Daydreamer’ with its venomous vocal delivery, fittingly scrappy guitars and pulsating rhythm section. The opening pairing is Gnarwolves at their best; raw, energetic and edgy.
‘Blondie’ marks a departure for the trio. Stripped down to Weeks’ vocals and his acoustic guitar, it’s a brief, eerily number that partly pays tribute to ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ yet the band’s gritty demeanour remains intact. It leads into ‘Bad Dreams’, a roaring, through-and-through punk number that rounds off this short but sharp effort in an ideal fashion.
Although ‘Adolescence’ has us yearning for a new Gnarwolves record, it serves its purpose well as the three-piece sound at home with their straightforward style. The combination of frank and angst-ridden lyrics, and raw and swift punk works well, albeit one that is all too familiar. Nevertheless, it’s a solid addition to Gnarwolves’ back catalogue.
‘Adolescence’ EP by Gnarwolves is out now on Big Scary Monsters and Tangled Talk.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)