The post hardcore scene is currently littered with bands that, despite an undoubted musical proficiency, simply fall into the same pool of formulaic sound. Strong riffs under creative guitar play, coated in rough shouts alongside whiny clingy clean vocals, and in the worst examples of bands a by the number s hard attack lumped together with boy band like smooth voices. Milton Keynes band wearewolf stay well clear of the latter but at times find themselves dipping their toes in the waters of the standard genre sounds.
Their debut EP “Beginnings” consists of five tracks that are full of promise and positive thoughts for what they will bring forth in the future but on this release they are tempered by, at times, slipping into the safety of making music that walks along well known but favourable paths.
Opening track ‘Nah Man This Ain’t Butlins’ is an immediate example, a song that is skilfully delivered and conceived but dutifully sticks to the sound musically and vocally that many post hardcore bands choose to employ. Countering that though is the infusion of some good hard rock chords and riffs giving immediate evidence that guitarists Ashley Dunn and Richard Darcy can not only play their instruments but understand the sounds it can make. Vocally the structure is as expected with the growling, aggressive shouts being balanced by clean and at times far too smooth mellow tones, but again Ben Guiney and Rob Humble are strong at what they do.
Second track up ‘One Love’ is the strongest and most creative track on “Beginnings”, though it also has a consistency in ideas that is fluctuating. It starts more than solidly and pleasingly without ever venturing too far from the accepted song formula, until two minutes in it bursts into flames with a flash of inspired energy and metalcore type riffs. Guitars and rhythm elevate the track to outstanding levels and though it mellows out later it still retains the intensity that gives the band much more…
The final three tracks are made up from ‘We Are Here We Are Waiting parts 1 & 2′ split by the brief moment of ‘Seeking Refuge’, and though it is not clear if it is a deliberate and creative link between the two or simply used to break up the sequence, it works reasonably well. The two tracks surrounding it are very solid pieces of music with Part 1 having an instant blast of energy that is immediate, and part 2 being a more measured song bringing melodies and noise in equal measure to its overall sound. Once more the guitars are impressive here backed up by drummer Adam Tissington, at maybe his best and most dominant.
The main negative on “Beginnings” is simply not enough variance from what so many others are delivering, though wearewolf do bring it with more composure and control and show in places they are more than capable. One other disappointment was the lack of punch from the bass of Luke Wixted, no criticism on his ability but whether from production or a reluctance himself to strike out, it is too subdued on most of the EP. The positives are again the skill of each member of the band and the sparks of inspiration that light up some of the tracks especially ‘One Love’ and ‘We Are Here We Are Waiting Part 2’.
Wearewolf are, on the evidence of the EP, one band that should move onto a featured career, just as long as they find their own distinct sound, the signs are there though.