The Synthwave Radioshow
W o L F C L U B
Best track: symmetry
click album cover to listen
three years, four albums. what's changed in this period of time? Absolutely nothing. But then, why should it? wolfclub are synthwave's answer to taylor swift or ed sheeran. top-of-the-class when it comes to churning out attractive and charismatic popwave hits that do the genre no end of favours.
Synthwave is at a crossroads where it needs to take the next step, and this requires more exposure for the music, and for this exposure to unfold, the general public need to be inundated with appealing singles and albums on a regular basis. Wolfclub could certainly be the foundation for this.
'frontiers' arrived on our tweetdecks and insta-stories with huge furor and enthusiasm. catchy trailers prior to it's release left us chomping at the bit for an album that felt like it had been a long time coming. 'electrify' gets blasted out first with rapid-fire guitar strumming to the tune of anything radio 1 these days. you'd be forgiven for thinking you weren't about to embark on your first listen of a synthwave compilation. and in all fairness, it's probably the hardest track to percieve when placing it to a genre. still, it's a great opening, and quite long by their standards at a bulky 4 minutes!
the most noticeable attribute throughout the album is the use of simultaneous heavy electronic beats and low-level bassy synths. and we've heard this obvious characteristic many times in the previous album 'infinity'. especially in tracks such as; 'infinity', 'tears' and 'had to get to you'. now it should be highlighted that there's a fine line between being praised for having a recognised sound and being scorned for just not trying. and fans of the darker side of synthwave will certainly disagree with me when I say that fortunately, wolfclub eer on the side of positive recognition.
i think the biggest downfall of the album is in the way the order has been setup. and of course this comes down to personal opinion, but the first four tracks are without a shadow of a doubt, the most notable. and this leaves a slight empty feeling when you reach the end. 'symmetry' is the best of a tremendous bunch and it was an intelligent decision for the promo guys to use this track in the trailer for the release of this album. it's just so bloody punchy and a perfect floor-filler. the scene certainly stood up and took notice when they heard it for the first time.
the titular track 'frontiers' could probably pass as the ballad of the album with some stiff competition from 'gravity' for that accolade. both slower in nature than the rest of the tracks, they're a vocal punch in the proverbials. and it's these two tracks that bring me to my other statement. there has been a subtle improvement in bringing the vocals out from the back of the stage and in to the spotlight. they seem to take the lead now whereas before they sat alongside those catchy and engaging synths. Selena Gomez eat your heart out...whoever the heck she is.
listeners of cybersynth and futuresynth should keep a distance, this won't be for you. but for anyone that spends their time listening to the same dross being produced by any of the 'superstars' on popular daytime radio, you need to take a minute to immerse yourself in this album. chances are if someone told you it was a set of tracks made by Katy perry, you'd absolutely freak the f*ck out and say it's the best thing since 'police academy 4'. and i also think that (and i'm hedging my bets here) you would stick your nose up at anything you didn't recognise, which is why the music industry is so stuck in its ways. get yourselves out of your uninspiring sinkhole and use 'frontiers' to open the door in to a world you didn't even know existed. use it as a gateway drug in to a genre oozing with superb creativity and splendour...you won't regret it! Joe Ward 9/10