A slow burner which takes time to getting going in some ways but emerges as a quite tasty slab of adventurous rock ‘n’ roll, Silence Is Acquiescence suggests the UK has another highly promising proposition in its rock scene under the rather cool name of Wolfetone. The release loudly hints that this is a band we should definitely be watching out for ahead, and with its rampant potential and increasingly persuasive songs, the band’s highly enjoyable debut album suggests why wait, a sentiment we can only concur with. It is a attention holding start to Wolfetone’s persuasion on a national spotlight, one with a few things needing ironing out ahead, but a collection of dynamic and exciting songs which do what all encounters should, leaves ears eager and satisfaction full.
Hailing from Northampton and Milton Keynes, Wolfetone has taken little time luring in eager support and attention through a live presence which has seen the band pick up highly favourable reviews and increasing acclaim whilst sharing stages with the likes of Heart of a Coward and Scholars. Their dynamic mix of alternative and melodic rock is bred with inspirations from bands like Billy Talent, Sikth, Protest The Hero, Foo Fighters, Reuben, and Hundred Reasons but as Silence Is Acquiescence shows, but it is a sound with its own emerging and distinct personality as shown by the album.
It opens up with Blame Culture, a track which personally did not grab as quickly or fully as following songs subsequently do with greater ease. In saying that once the big healthy bassline showed its lure and a potent wiry hook bound a flame of riffs, the track certainly had interest and appetite engaged. In hindsight it is a relatively low key song in comparison to many of its successors, but doing enough to tempt and certainly showing the strength of the band’s songwriting as well as their individual and united skills. The firm and punchy rhythms of Baz Woodsford and the increasingly alluring dark throated tones cast by Ollie Young’s bass make the strongest impression in a song which ultimately lacks the spark to ignite personal tastes. That success though is swiftly solved by the following Tanks, a vibrant and immediately striking slice of melodic rock veined by another spicy bassline and a potent blaze of enterprise from the guitars of Andy Simmons and Dan Moloney. There is also a pop punk contagion to the stride and chorus of the encounter, offering a dynamism lacking in the last song which in turn feeds a new energy in the craft of the band. The vocals of Moloney also have a new lease of life, ably backed by the rest of the band in a three pronged harmonic adventure.
Born Human steps up next and is similarly loaded with an eager attitude and adventurous nature; the album in full swing now and providing all the proof as to why Wolfetone is beginning to stir up a buzz. The prime hook of the song is a tangy temptation too which steals the show from equally robust and tenacious elements within the seriously catchy proposition, whilst the changing gait of the song adds to the easily accessible but unpredictable nature of the track.
The feverish Enemies with its emotional intimacy and thumping heartbeat has ears and imagination greedily involved, a tempting reinforced by the excellent slip into melodic and harmonic calm with just an edge of angst. It is a passing breath though as the song is soon flexing creative and rhythmic muscle as hooks bite and melodies flame over the captivating frame of the song. Another highlight of the album, it is matched in success by the impassioned drama of Lost Boys, where guitars and voice create a colourful scenery of lively melodies and reflective emotion respectively, and the punkier exploits of Milton. An immediate favourite on the album, the track stands toe to toe with the listener through abrasing riffs and bracing rhythms whilst vocals croon and hooks spread infectious enterprise. Once more the bass Young feeds instinctive likes as if it already knows what the listener wants, his growling instrument the darker intimidation of a song which is prepared to brawl but would rather rigorously party with the listener.
Another highlight of Silence Is Acquiescence seduces straight away, The Constant a song which is happy either stirring up a tempest of sound and endeavour or laying warm melodic hands on the senses, and does both with invention. There is certainly a depth to the sound and songwriting of Wolfetone which is untapped but hinted at throughout the album, this song the strongest evidence of that further promise and potential which we will hopefully be exploring over future releases.
The album is finished by an acoustic version of Blame Culture, a wholly captivating offering with bewitching strings, but one which does emphasize the only issue with Silence Is Acquiescence, and that is the production on the vocals. Less prominent on the first couple of tracks but increasingly obvious as songs pass by, the excellent voice of Moloney and the supporting tones of the band come in a hollow embrace. It is a slightly cavernous effect surrounding them which is almost as if the vocals were recorded in a large cold bathroom rather than where the rest of the songs were laid down. The fact it cannot stop the songs making such strong impressions is testament to the band and the writing but it does just temper and stop an impressive debut from being a truly striking introduction.
Nevertheless Wolfetone has set down a potent marker and base for their next steps, and bred a definite appetite for their highly enjoyable sounds with their impressive release.
Silence Is Acquiescence is available from February 23rd @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/silence-is-acquiescence/id955979528 and through all stores.
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