Gruff, fast and pop. Equally fitting of an unlikely brand of cereal, these qualitatives also conveniently fit Brighton punk outfit Gnarwolves. EP ‘CRU’ is a showcase of the warm-hearted aggression they wear on their sleeve through half a dozen fast-paced and rowdy tracks of pop-punk goodness. The band find their spot somewhere between the songwriting of early Against Me! combined with a style along the lines of Basement, a cocktail that surely has a bunch of people foaming at the mouth.
Opener ‘History Is Bunk’ is a short, sweet and triumphant blast as it sprints out of the starting blocks all crashing cymbals and raucous guitars before cutting with an effortless suddenness into a rousing chorus of gang vocals as they iterate again and again that ‘it’s not the same thing’. All credit should be due to the superb songwriting on display here as ‘We Want The Whip’ is another little gem that sees the band weave shouty verses with charming choruses ready to be shouted back at the band.<a href=“http://music.tangledtalk.com/album/cru” data-mce-href=“http://music.tangledtalk.com/album/cru”>CRU by Gnarwolves</a>
The band show a little variety with ‘Community, Stability, Identity’ in which they make the most of a slower tempo by playing with an off-kilter fragility before bringing the house down (and the rest of the neighbourhood). ‘A Gram Is Better Than A Damn’ might come off as a little lackluster in comparison to the rest of the EP, as might ‘Oh, Brave New World’ though the latter has a fingerful of its own moments.
Closer ‘Coffee’, though, serves as a good summary of the band’s style with a display of both the irreverent pace of their uncompromising pop-infused gruff-punk and some of the more exciting additions they complement the former with (in this case, the enforcing of a deliberate, sluggish pace with the affirming statement of “I’ll sleep when I’m old”). Gnarwolves are fresh, exciting and immediate and ‘CRU’
is their best introduction.
‘CRU’ by Gnarwolves is available now on Tangled Talk.
Words by James Berclaz-Lewis (@SwissBearClaw)