Wallows Pack Out Stylus, 11.06.19

Now that we are out of undergraduate term time the university feels deserted, however one step into the steaming fire of Stylus and you would be very wrong indeed, as the Union’s premier venue throbbed with hundreds of teenage bodies jostling for a position.

There’s a weird dichotomy with Wallows. Socially they are the band of the new youthful generation. A shiny take on those which a couple of years ago might rush towards the likes of young Catfish and The Bottlemen and Rat Boy. A fact which seems to be lost on the LA band who quoted classic movies far more aged than most of their audience between the vicious production of sound-waves.

The band officially compromising of Braeden Lemasters, Cole Preston and Dylan Minnette, alongside a touring trumpet player, moved with ease through their debut album-length set with little intermission.  Silence was not golden, but the music was sweaty. In comparison with the persona’s projected within their music videos, live the band shed their cold digital skin for approachability, goofiness and humour. Emerging from a self-made black curtain covering the stage doors, the band jumped into ‘Treacherous Doctor’- seemingly typical indie tune which momentarily breaks the mind-numbing framework by delving into a dark pit of guitars. There’s a beautiful unpredictability with this band. Whilst undeniably having a unique sound, this can never be defined as they bop between heavy riffs, 80s-esque synth ballads and surf pop. A fact never more demonstrated than with their pre-interval crescendo of ‘Do Not Wait’ (the conclusion of their debut and only album Nothing Happens), which concludes in a tear-jerking trumpet and vocal wail.

Sonically they transcend the assigned age restriction. One could question what the audience would be like if it hadn’t been produced through Dylan Minnette’s star role in the cult TV show 13 Reasons Why. For undoubtedly songs like ‘I’m Full’, lamenting the ease of using drugs as a cure for mental health, is aimed at an audience which is ostracised by a wall of screaming teenagers who are having their first taste of alcohol. This will change and broaden through more recognition in England, or at least we can hope.

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