A horrible hack

Gnarwolves

Fun Club

Year Released: 2011
Format: Tape
Label: Brain Ache Records
 
Reviewed by Sam Hunt on Jan 7, 2012
The hardcore/pop-punk fusion sound championed by bands like Title Fight, Crime In Stereo, Basement and such like in recent years has been innumerably fallen in love with by those seeking speed, aggression, melody and emotiveness within music. Perhaps it’s today’s equivalent of the Fat Wreck bands of the 90s; maybe not a revival of the sound per se, but certainly a nod towards it.

Gnarwolves are a Brighton-based three-piece originally hailing from Cornwall, playing the aforementioned hardcore/pop-punk sound noisily, emotively and wonderfully, and “Fun Club,” their debut five-track EP, is a throwback to a youth spent playing Dave Mirra and Tony Hawks games on the Playstation.

My own personal level of affection with this band is through that nostalgia; when I was a nerdy, punk and metal-loving eleven year old, spending hours in my bedroom sending Ryan Nyquist down an enormous waterslide on the Galoon Waterpark level on Dave Mirra 2, or making Bob Burnquist gap between carnival floats on Tony Hawk’s 4.

The music that always stood out to me on those games was either the considerably heavier stuff (when they included Superjoint Ritual and S.O.D and bands like that), and the aforementioned hardcore/pop-punk bands (someone needs to coin a term for that sound, seriously), along with the better melodic hardcore bands. Millencolin, Lagwagon, Strike Anywhere, bands like that always really grabbed me. I was always drawn to really heavy stuff or really emotive stuff, which is basically what I listen to 99% of the time these days.

So a band like Gnarwolves makes me incredibly happy. They’re noisy, passion-drenched, and perhaps slightly immature, which is awesome. “Fun Club” is up on their Bandcamp, and will be released on cassette by Brain Ache Records at some point. The only notable drawback is that whoever produced it is an absolute love affair with compression, and it fucks with the sound way too much. But other than that, I’m really, really looking forward to what these guys come up with.


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