Review by Elle Wrightson
The Big Try, is an exciting new release by Dressed Like Wolves and it is packed with organic sounds and heartfelt lyrics. The upcoming band recorded the album over a two-day period in a decommissioned mill in Leeds, which created a relaxed sound. The lyrics evoke nostalgia, allowing their punk-influences to shine through. The Big Try is a strong album that shows the increasing confidence, and maturation, of the band.
The album opens with ‘Outerlimits': a lively, upbeat song that is packed with crackling guitar riffs and punchy drums. The self-loathing lyrics add to the angst created from the spiky chorus and establishes the mood for the album. This opening encapsulates the enjoyment that the band felt during recording, allowing the album to progress from a positive beginning.
It is track three, ‘Tiny Ides’, that captures the band’s sound perfectly. It is much slower, honest and natural.The lyrics are astounding and they alternate between being heartfelt and quick-witted. For example, “You’re half flat coke with too much ice and with no straw but you’re still mine”. By interweaving endearment with dark humour, it captures the self-depreciating mentality that is prominent in the millennial mindset. The mellow, yet uplifting, piano and guitar accompany the gentle, whispered ending; “I love you, it’s how I know this is real, so thaw me out, won’t you, darling?”.
The album continues to mellow into ‘Slate’, a sad, slow track that has sounds of Keaton Henson crossed with Brand New. Nostalgic and mournful lyrics are accompanied by melancholic guitar chords;vivid imagery is paired with bold statements that make you stop and think: “you know the clouds will always cease but never cease to be”/”it all seemed like a dream, the orange summer leaves” . The song then draws on their punk influences, building to a chorus of a frantic guitar layered over drums, before uttering its sorrowful conclusion: “I’m about to sleep, away, away, away”.
The sorrowful atmosphere progresses into ‘You’ve Been Drinking White Russians All Night And Now Your Bones Are Strong”, one of the most powerful songs on the album. The lyrics are bold and honest, leaving your heart yearning for something more: “I saw cracks in you that you were losing life through so I grabbed the sellotape. But it was way, way too late and you kept losing things I had grown attached to”. The helplessness and vulnerability that can accompany love echoes throughout the song, showing the desperation that fades into acceptance. The closing lines emphasise this: “So drink your white Russian you know you want to, so drink your white Russian your bones will thank you”.
Dressed Like Wolves have created a promising early album, especially considering its short turnaround time of two days, and limited recording materials. The relaxed, yet frantic, manner in which they recorded the album has created fresh sounds that capture the band’s spirit perfectly. It is this unique and fuzzy sound that makes Dressed Like Wolves an encouraging upcoming band.