PEPPERING a review with references to other acts is regarded as poor and lazy form. It’s a cheap way of describing music in lieu of considered insight. But I’m afraid I have no choice when it comes to London four-piece Wolf Alice, a band so utterly without character they barely exist beyond the sum of their influences.
O2 ABC, Glasgow
Without a hint of exaggeration, they’re one of the most egregiously boring bands I’ve ever seen. If, in the background of a film set in the early 1990s, a generic British indie quartet were required to provide some bland, faceless period favour, Wolf Alice would fit the bill.
They’re in static thrall, if that isn’t too dynamic a word, to glum-faced, reverb-heavy shoegazers such as Chapterhouse and Slowdive. They also sound like a thin approximation of Joshua Tree-era U2. Occasionally they take polite stabs at My Bloody Valentine/Jesus & Mary Chain-esque noise. It’s a pathetic spectacle.
Current collectives such as Portland, Oregon’s Chromatics have shown that it’s possible to be influenced by these groups while adding something of your own. Wolf Alice are merely a tired retread. Their dreary melodies and arrangements are insultingly predictable. They possess not one original thought in their collective noggin.
I hate to sound like a middle-aged music bore, but their fans are presumably too young to realise that all of this has been done countless times before. If Wolf Alice didn’t exist, no-one would notice.