Ivan and the Wolves, based in Camden, describe themselves as “guitar driven Brit Rock” and say “if it isn’t loud, turn it off”. The three piece certainly look the part – they’ve got those check shirts and fedoras that are in these days and from their live photos, they seem like they’re having a lot of fun. Their Facebook page is enthusiastic and quite inspiring – all these guys want to do is rock! I’ve got a couple of tracks here entitled The Get Out Clause and Subdivisions, which I am thoroughly expecting to rock my tits off, so let’s give them a whirl.
The Get Out Clause starts out with some jangly guitar swagger. It’s pretty rock and roll, very danceable. The song doesn’t quite know what it wants to be though – there’s some pretty weird chord changes and jumps from minor to major that are slightly jarring. These aren’t present in the first verse at all, which is a lot more subtle and more impressive. On the whole, it’s a relatively catchy song, with some great ‘ooh’s’ in the chorus, but it does sound like two completely different songs squished together into that three minutes and forty-five seconds.
Subdivisions is a lot less confusing and a lot more together. There’s less of a weird structure and a lot more focus on building what is a really quite good track. It’s slightly less intense than its companion track, but this works in its favour. The opening few chords admittedly do sound like they belong on a car advert, but that’s not such a bad thing. The latter part of the track and the chorus are very We Are Scientists, which keeps me happy because I love that kind of sound. Overall, a far more impressive track than its companion.
Both tracks have some really great vocals and there’s some pretty good range going on there, plus that kind of swagger you’d expect for something a bit rocky. But the tracks just don’t stand out to me like I was anticipating. Perhaps it’s because I’m a really big fan of distortion, but the rest of the songs bar the vocals are far too clean for the rock and roll image it wants to portray. Don’t get me wrong, they’re pretty well put together tracks, the production is superb and the band would no doubt be a blast to see perform. However, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed. Nevertheless, I’d like to hear a bit more from Ivan and the Wolves in the future, just hopefully with a bit more bite and a little less fluff.
3/5 high fives!
PS – if you want to hear the tracks for yourself, check out their website at http://www.ivanandthewolves.com