Street Sounds: Third album from Wolf Alice is spellbinding

Music reviewer Dean Gordon-Smith says English alternative rock band delivers on their third album

English alternative rock band Wolf Alice reveals an impressive, all-embracing vision of post ‘70s rock styles on their third album, My Love is Cool.

The London-based group seems to favour new wave and the intense post punk twanginess of bands like The Pixies and the more ominous vibe of British groups like Bauhaus and Love and Rockets. The songwriting talent of the band lies in how they shape the arrangements, sound and production effortlessly to fit the atmosphere that they’re aiming for.

Lead singer/guitarist Ellie Rowsell can shift from dreamy pop (Bros) to banshee wail (Lisbon) with conviction. She’s matched in her sound shifting abilities by guitarist Joff Oddie who can evoke thunderous chordal cascades and chiming fills within the same song (Moaning Lisa Smile). They go where the moods take them and the conviction in the performance makes My Love is Cool a spellbinding recording. You’re a Gem taps into a grunge rock vibe that recalls PJ Harvey or Hole while Turn to Dust plants a blurry psychedelic veneer on a group travelling the threads between post punk rock, and imparts a sense of trust in their conviction.

My Love is Cool is an edgy summation of new wave, folk rock and an adventurous alternative  attitude. The group grasps the notion of letting the spirit of a tune guide them as they step from alternative rock to pastoral folk sounds (Swallowtail).  They rock with ferocity and sensitivity in between and there’s no lull in the presentation. Also detectable is the not-so-discreet use of the phase shifter. Lovely.