Gnarwolves – The Chronicles of Gnarnia


Artist

Album

The Chronicles of Gnarnia

Label

Banquet Records

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Basement - Citizen - Turnover

Summary

A 'best of' from a band only just now figuring out who they are.

Rating

74 / 100

Gnarwolves have released a whole lot of short EP’s in the time that they have been a band, enough, in fact, to make up the flesh and bones of a serious LP. With this in mind, Gnarwolves had the idea of compiling together their entire back catalogue and titling in aptly, The Chronicles of Gnarnia. As a result, their first LP is an amalgamation of tracks like ‘Community, Stability, Identity,’ that have already been well worn and beloved, and some tracks that have perhaps been overlooked in the past, now having the opportunity to give Gnarwolves the kind of boost they deserve.

The first four tracks on this LP are from the first release this band ever put out – Fun Club, which was released in 2011, and showcases the days where the band’s production was rough and hardy, and the jams were faster and louder than ever. Most of the instrumentals in tracks like ‘Decay’ and ‘No Time For Old Bones’ are robust and abrupt, wasting no time with lengthy instrumentals.

‘Reaper’
demonstrates just how schizophrenic this band actually is, stopping and starting enough to give the listener mild nausea. Furious and unforgiving, there is, however an underlying passion that eradicates any lack of appeal that the primitive vocal quality or instrumental turbulence might endure.

Gnarwolves
’ first LP isn’t in fact a proper LP, where you can judge the band’s ability based on the final product. In this way, the crux of the record, which is made up of the band’s second and longest EP CRU, is far apart an improvement from the beginning of the record.

Listening to tracks like ‘History Is Bunk’ and ‘Oh Brave New World,’ it’s clear that the band have reigned in their sound. It’s like this time around they’ve taken their meds. On CRU, the lyrical style is more sentimental, particularly on ‘Community, Stability, Identity’, and the band sounds much older here than before. Later, on the ‘Funemployed’ section of the LP, there is a newfound confidence that, on tracks such as ‘Melody Has Big Plans’ and especially ‘Tongue Surfer’ seems to breed more hooks, and more concentrated aggression.

Conclusion

Still, on ‘Coffee’ and for the most of the end of the LP, the vocals and instrumentals seem to fall back into the drunk and disorderly, it’s just that this time Gnarwolves are comfortable in this skin.

Tracklisting

1. Party Jams
2. Decay
3. No Time For Old Bones
4. Reaper
5. Chlorine In The Jean Pule
6. History Is Bunk
7. We Want The Whip!
8. Community, Stability, Identity
9. A Gram Is Better Than A Damn
10. Oh Brave New World
11. Coffee
12. Melody Has Big Plans
13. Tongue Surfer
14. Limerence
15. High On A Wire

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