Call it a Flashback Friday; two brawny guitar-based acts brought back a familiar sound to the Danforth Music Hall this past week and delivered a couple of powerful performances that kicked off the weekend right. Playing were England’s Wolf Alice and openers Fade Awaays.
Local quartet Fade Awaays looked and sounded very much like the indie alternative bands of the mid-90s, wearing buttoned up dress shirts and bashing out songs about life, love, and everything in between. They’re like a more surf-oriented Weezer, or a more aggressive version of Pavement. Songs like “Voodoo Girl” and “Get Along” echo hints of modern influences like Cage the Elephant and Arctic Monkeys as well.
Wolf Alice’s sound can be summed up entirely as a cross of two genres: the dark, twisted riffs of grunge and the wall-of-sound technique of shoegaze. They’ve essentially defined their sound, and their latest album Visions of a Life is a continuation of the style found on 2015’s My Love is Cool. Even frontwoman Ellie Rowsell‘s mic set-up reflects this amalgamation, with one mic for her more bold, direct parts and another for reverbed, spacey portions.
If there’s one thing however that sets them apart from their peers in both those genres, it’s that Rowsell and company keep their tunes very concise. A Wolf Alice track typically runs between two and three minutes, short and sweet. This makes for an incredibly varied set packed with material. It was a wild one too; as Rowsell belted out songs like “Moaning Lisa Smile”, “Sadboy”, and “Space & Time”.
Her guitarists put on a performance of their own. Thrashing about and throwing their axes in the air, they provided both the grit and ambient feedback that together form the band’s signature sound. That sound will soon be reaching a lot more people as they prepare for a tour with Queens of the Stone Age next year and get some well-deserved arena time. Their big sound will soon be on a big stage.