Wolf Gang: “Alveron”
[Interscope, Cherrytree Records, 2014]
by Taylor Gilliam
If anything, Wolf Gang’s Black River EP was the perfect indicator of how Alveron would sound. The UK band’s sophomore album dropped on Tuesday, a project the whole group expressed excitement about back when they signed with Interscope earlier this year. And as for that excitement “Now I Can Feel It,” and you can, too.
“Now I Can Feel It” is the album’s opener, a tone-setter that feels just plain powerful—lead singer Max McElligott even sounds a bit haunting as he sings the song’s title over and over. But don’t let that fool you; the LP is a set of tracks that are just as fun as the hits from Suego Faults and will get crowds dancing once the band gets back on the road (they’ve been touring incessantly, supporting Coldplay’s arena tour and headlining their own.)
Standout track “Into the Fire” comes second, followed by “Black River” and “Back to Life,” both from the Black River EP. I was excited to see this because the more songs make it from EP to LP, oftentimes the more confident the band is in the music it’s making.
The next must-listen is “Lay Your Love Down,” which brings in new instrumental elements and might even be my favorite track.
Like Suego Faults, Alveron slows down on the B-side, but the songs feel more grand and statement-making than the introspective “Suego Faults” and “Planets” from the band’s first album. And, in this same convention, closer “Alveron” cinches the album and leaves the listener with no doubt that he or she just listened to some Wolf Gang. All the elements are there: the synths, the percussion, and Max’s distinct voice.
Overall, Alveron is less eerie than Suego Faults, perhaps showcasing a new sound because the band is rising out of the ashes of being dropped from their former record label (this would also explain the cover art.) It in no way is a “sophomore slump” of an album, which is both a relief and a reason to go give it a listen.
To read an interview with Wolf Gang, click here