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Album Review: Wolves At Heart - Write It Down

The commercial pop punk revival is fully underway at the moment and, as with any popular genre, the explosion has spawned a million new sound-a-like bands. There are some bands that are truly unoriginal and sound awful, and then there are those that add their own spice to the genre and do ok. The truly shrewd hatchlings will take elements of each of the popular bands and meld them together. Glasgow’s Wolves At Heart have done just this; taking influence from the Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell school of lyric writing and blending it with the musicality of Four Year Strong, and in places Fireworks.

The massive influence of The Wonder Years on the band is obvious from the outset. Lyricist and Vocalist, Keir was obviously very influenced by last year’s ‘The Upsides’, because the lyrics of opening track ‘Fingers Crossed’ are very much in the same vein. If it wasn’t for the chugging guitar work in the background, it would be quite easy for the listener to feel that the track was a Wonder Years’ B-side, particularly when the singer croons lines like “Minds can wander, well mine just ran away” in his distinct Americanised nasal whine. I did mention the band were from Glasgow right? Still, ‘Fingers Crossed’ is a very enjoyable track, despite its flaws.

The rest of the EP is of a similar ilk. The band appear to have toned down the pinch harmonics and metallic edge of their demo for a more well-rounded pop punk sound. On ‘Half The Losing Battle’, Keir gives a very distinct nod to his current biggest influence as he sings about learning to find the upsides. With many this would be quite contrived, but it doesn’t come across like this, but more like a sincere tribute. ‘It’s Time To Go Home’ is of a similar formula, while ‘Why Did I Even Come Here’ is a bit of a departure in sound. Wolves At Heart didn’t suddenly decide to go prog or anything that dramatic, but the song is more melodious and heartfelt than its predecessors, hinting that there may be some originality lurking below the banality. Title track, ‘Write It Down’ serves as a good ending to the EP. It’s the kind of youthful, good times, bro-anthem that would be on your ‘summer evening with friends’ playlist.

With ‘Write It Down’, Wolves At Heart have created a succinct and deft bit of hero-worshipping pop punk. It breaks no boundaries, does nothing to rep their city of origin and only rarely raises the heartbeat, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. If you are a fan of The Wonder Years and other such bands, you will undoubtedly like this, and it’s good enough quality to even snare a few casual listeners. If the band ever forge their own clear identity, they will be huge.


'Write It Down' is available now on Struggletown Records.

Official Website
Wolves At Heart on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, Big Cartel and Bandcamp.

Words by Dan Issitt.

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