A Werewolf Aware Wolf // On Better Days
Written by Kayla Albee
If you've ever wanted an emo surf rock crossover, you're in luck. If you're just now entertaining that thought and thinking "Why the heck would I want that?" well, my friend, hear me out. A Werewolf Aware Wolf, a four piece based out of Tallahassee, FL, recently released their debut EP, On Better Days. This four track EP removes the rose colored glasses that are so often donned and instead takes a realistic approach to channeling those emotions that you sometimes don't want to entertain, all while mixing elements of indie, alt rock, emo, and, you guessed it, surf rock.
The opening track, "Alright," is certified gloomy day beach rock, and maybe you're wearing cowboy boots to go along with this tracks subtle twang, but maybe you're not. Since this fantasy world doesn't actually exist, it doesn't matter what you're wearing. What does matter is the impact that the song has, and continues to have, with each listen. While the music itself isn't somber, vocalist Graham's resounding lyrics of "I'm not alright, but I'll be okay" solidifies the message of it being okay to not be okay, which has become a popular theme and one that deserves to be addressed rather than swept under the rung. Nonchalance fuels the track rather than holding it back, and propels the listener forward through the EP which continues the theme of curated despondency.
Guitarist Traylor wrote and provides vocals for "Shogi" (otherwise known as Japanese Chess.) This is a track that takes a more layered approach when it comes to the musicality while the vocal style is cool, calm, and collected. Themes of not being happy with the way that life is going emerge and are carried on waves of late 80's / early 90's The Cure-esque vibey instrumentals combined with Death Cab For Cutie's maintained composure. Even when the lyrics discuss serious emotions, Traylor maintains a steady and level approach.
"Wrong Car" is unquestionably the busiest track off of the EP, due to the build up of crashing drums and guitar chords building in the background while feelings of vulnerability are put on display. Lyrics like "Sometimes I think I'll be just fine / watching all my friends try " and "I think I've been drinking too much" are straightforward and speak to an internal conflict that, while personal, is also widely relatable. Alt-rock comes out to play in the later half of this track and continues through to the final track, "Blood In The Water."
"Blood In The Water" closes out the EP with a guitar heavy intro and vocals that are more raw than the previous tracks allowed. Summoning feelings of sadness, depression, fear, and loneliness, A Werewolf Aware Wolf leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of riding out the existential crisis without getting pulled under.
On Better Days is an engaging and entertaining creation that shows the groups abilities while highlighting their thought provoking and heavy lyrics. It's safe to say that you'll likely be left wanting to hear more once the EP is over -- in the meantime, just throw it on repeat!
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