Let’s be honest- the UK pop-punk scene is pretty saturated at the moment. Every day there’s another new band making exactly the same music, with exactly the same sound. Honestly, sometimes it’s exhausting trawling through all of these releases, just to find one that is even worth talking about. That’s why it’s such a breath of fresh of fresh air when I find a band that does something different within the genre; enter Wolf Culture.
This is the Bournemouth group’s first EP, but it’s hard to tell, because their sound is already really well defined. They’ve taken the normal pop-punk formula, and flipped it completely over- creating a much more pessimistic, dark sound than the genre is used to. Occasionally, this means dipping into emo, almost reminiscent of bands like My Chemical Romance at time, but in spirit, this is a wholeheartedly pop-punk release.
The lyrics also cover more mature topics than a lot of pop-punk, talking brutally honestly about mental health and self-harm in the fantastic but chilling ‘Continents’. Listening to it genuinely made my hairs stand on end at times. Other good efforts include the fantastic opener ‘Wreck’, which is a perfect introduction to the band’s sound, and closer ‘The Side Effects of Being Happy’, which perfectly balances the most upbeat sound on the album with darkly pessimistic lyrics.
As I previously mentioned, trying to find the diamonds within the pop-punk world is occasionally tiring- but it’s bands like these that make it worth it. They have managed to forge their own, unique sound, making them stand out in an increasingly saturated genre. This isn’t just a great EP, it’s an example to the genre- there is still the chance to innovate and do something new with the genre, and this band have done it.
Best songs: Wreck, Continents