By Will Sexton (@willshesleeps)
There has been a lot of speculation recently about whether punk is dead. Even people like Frank Carter, best known for his punk discography in the bands Gallows and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes has said that “grime is the new punk” and that punk is a dying art. However, this doesn’t feel like the full picture: bands like the UK’s very own Gnarwolves bring this punch and DIY sound that is very much needed in the scene, making for a totally refreshing listen every time.
Outsiders, easily Gnarwolves’ darkest record to date, seems the most grown up. There is this aura about the album that feels cathartic with the songs coming across as if they were written as an escape. The lead single Wires shows this from the get-go as although they sound different and changed, it wasn’t due to a sense of “boys we really need to switch up our sound“, merely it is just more mature. The album is still their classic DIY punk but also has features, like song structure for example, that is reminiscent of bands like Basement.
Gnarwolves prove themselves on Outsiders that they aren’t a one-trick pony with only songs about getting drunk and high with their mates. Thom Weeks shows a deeper more personal side. Highlighted by the almost slow-burner (in comparison to a lot of their other songs, even on this album) Talking To Your Ghost, talking about “seeing people fall apart” and seems like an anthem for people to relate to. It would be stupid not to mention how much of a belter Shut Up is at the end of the album, an incredible piece of work and one that’ll be getting screamed back in their faces live soon! They prove that being ‘outsiders’ is a thing people will go through and that life goes on.
Outsiders makes you wanna be the kid who is stage-diving off the stage, crowd surfing and moshing but also makes you feel nostalgic: it leads you to think about your life and all the friends you miss, making you want to invite them back for a house party. It’s a massive mixture of happy, sad and gorgeous. Some of the chord choices resonate well, the slower attack on some of the songs and again, the personal feel with the lyrics.
If you like punk, if you want to transition into punk, if you’re having a good day, if you want something to cry too or if you want something to drive around late at night and think about life, this is the album for you. A near faultless venture from the Gnarwolves boys.