Everybody knows a mad Mary. It could be the “harmless” neighbour next door whose gaze you prefer to avoid whilst taking the bins out or the general gadabout in town who everybody claims to know but in fact nobody really knows at all. Heck, they don’t even have to be called Mary or be a woman at all!
Continue reading “Review: A Date For Mad Mary”
Teasing us with gigs and EP releases, Wolf Alice’s long-awaited debut album, My Love Is Cool is finally here. Although, the London four-piece may have just missed out on nabbing the coveted UK Number 1 spot to Florence and the Machine, this doesn’t take away from the sheer brilliance of this record. A collection of haunting ballads and raging punk tracks, this debut embodies all the beautiful contradictions of Wolf Alice.
‘Turn to Dust’ is an ethereal introduction to this 12-track collection. Ellie Rowsell demonstrates her striking ability to whisper and lure her listeners in urging them to “Keep their beady eyes’’ on her. While Rowsell’s performance of signature track ‘Bros’ at Glastonbury was below belt vocals wise, it doesn’t take away from its upbeat and jaunting guitar sound. Capturing an era of love and friendship ‘Bros’ is the perfect indie-pop summer anthem. Another standout track is the slow-burning explosion, ‘Your Loves Whore’ where the repetition of “And when we grow older we’ll still be friends” leads into imploding guitar riffs. ‘You’re a Germ’ and ‘Lisbon’ are both heavy grunge tunes, with cooing verses contrasting with a thrashing combination of guitar and drums in the latter track.
The beautiful addition of synths to ‘Silk’ in which Rowsell chants through the chorus of “Just looking for a protector, God never reached out in time” in Lana Del Ray fashion makes this track a wonderful middle point in the album. ‘Freazy’ puts the ‘pop’ in Wolf Alice’s alt-pop reputation, while ‘Giant Peach’ ,the first single from the album to be revealed is a magnificent manifestation of screaming and suspense. Drummer, Joel Amery takes over the vocals for the poetic lullaby-like “Swallow-tail” while ‘Soapy Water’ is another lamenting track. Fans shouldn’t be fooled by the innocent title of ‘Fluffy’ as its pelting drums and supreme guitar riffs rule as in previous tracks.
The album comes to a natural close with ‘Wonderwhy’ as Rowsell shouts ‘Don’t leave me here” pointing to the band’s ability to experiment with different genres, while the concealed ‘Hidden Track’ adds to the mystery and Wonderland universe of Wolf Alice.
Following the success of their debut, A is for Alpine, Melbourne sestet, Alpine are back with their second album, Yuck. Not unlike their previous work, Yuck is a collection of indie-pop summer anthems and smooth harmonies courtesy of vocalists Phoebe Baker and Lou James.
First up is 90s R&B inspired track, ‘Come On’. Its breathy chorus chants of ‘’Come On’’ are a quirky introduction to this alt-pop album, while the next track ‘Foolish’ inspires the album’s title as the band describe their confused feelings towards love as ‘Yuck!’. Not unlike a tune that would be heard on Home and Away, ‘Crunches’ up tempo guitar hooks and charming lyrics make it an uplifting soundtrack to summer.
‘Shot Fox’ is a surprising highlight of the ten track album. Its zany synths combine with a paradoxical chorus “When you’re gone the world seems brighter/ When you’re heart beats mine beats faster” Adding to the album’s sexual tension, ‘Up for Air’ is a smooth track blended with gasping’s of “You’re the one whose gonna make me lose control”, while ‘Damn Baby’s’ swooning verses are followed by rapturous choruses celebrating love.
‘Jellyfish’’s water-dropping synths combine with the repetitive and entrancing introduction of “I wanna be the light, euphoric, stop beating myself up,” captivating listeners in a meditative fashion. The light fretwork at play in ‘Much More’ is a beautiful contrast to previous melodies on the album, highlighting the yearning of the singer.
‘Standing Not Sleeping’s’ dazed verses are saved by its thrashing drum chorus, yet the faded out beats means the track ends too soon than many listeners may like. Final track’s ‘Need Not Be’ speak-singing intro of “I’m confused about sex and love” and whispers of “I’m holy fuckin’ free” are once again meshed with a sprinkling of synths to maintain the album’s vibrant edgy sound.
While many tracks are similar in sound and theme, Yuck’s seductive synths and sassy lyrics make it an album that both loyal Alpine fans and indie enthusiasts will revel in.