Alpha Wolf push inner demons to the front with ‘No Name’.
Alpha Wolf’s music has always been the prime environment for the Melbourne metalcore band to share and confront dark things in their lives that are points of trauma and grief. 2017’s debut LP ‘Mono‘ was full proof of that, as is their latest single, ‘No Name‘.
While some may take more getting used to of newish frontman Lochie Keogh, I actually think he’s become a near-perfect fit for Alpha Wolf’s sound, seeming far more confident vocally in this track/music video than that of ‘Black Mamba‘ previously. Whilst the Greyscale presser labelled this single as their heaviest work yet – which isn’t totally inaccurate, as it sonically gels with the heavy subject matter of losing one’s self – but in many ways, it’s also just more Alpha Wolf. Structurally and tonally, it’s admittedly quite safe. Of course, that means it’ll also be successful. After all, through this type of songwriting and through some fuckin’ hard touring work ethics, the Aussie outfit have been keeping strong lately. To the point where they’re heading over to Europe in 2019 for Impericon Festival alongside Stick To Your Guns, Emmure, Fit For An Autopsy and many more. So, in that sense, kudos where it’s due.
As for ‘No Name‘ itself, the song really picks up just after the two-minute mark, when drummer Mitchell Fogarty drops in some snappy hardcore punk quarter note snare-hat hits, before dropping in one of the sickest drum fills Alpha Wolf have ever been graced with. From there, shit kicks into high gear vocally and riff-wise, playing right into the band’s classic brand of anger and bitterness. Something that’s more or less represented by Lochie being struck up upside down in the film clip, dripping with blackened blood, like he’s some sort of captured prey about to be metaphorically gutted and skinned for someone else’s pleasure or by his own hand. While it does take a little while to reach these sections, easily the true peak of the track, it’s a pay-off that’s worth the wait.
However, while the lyric “Can you hear that?/That’s the sound of me not giving a fuck!” makes for a wicked pit-call towards the end, it’s also a little confusing. As it’s unclear whether that’s supposed to play deeper into the song’s defeatist attitude about self-growth – figuratively throwing one’s hands up and giving up on bettering their mental headspace and trying to kill those inner demons – or is a jab at an individual unbeknown to the listener who might’ve been the cause of this ever-growing self-hatred. Or hell, maybe it’s both?
Either way, that pre-breakdown call-out is also weird. Because if Alpha Wolf/whichever member of the band who penned that lyric truly did not care – if they really didn’t give a fuck, as it were – then that part wouldn’t have made it to the final cut. This moment is sorta like those tough-guy hardcore/metalcore bands who write silly lines like “check check motherfuckers, we on that 2018 shit, we don’t fucking care what you think“, yet still clearly cared enough to include those lyrics anyway. Other than that, ‘No Name‘ isn’t half bad!
Have a listen or two below with the Colin Jeffs directed video: