Go see Wolf Alice. Immediately. Get a passport, if you have to. This is important.
The London band’s Friday set on the Austin Ventures stage was plagued by technical problems, falling microphone stands and sound bleed from Cherub on the Miller Lite stage. Not a damn was given. Wolf Alice came in with guitars trickling until shining, reverberating reverie — paired with Ellie Roswell promising “I could be your perfect girl” — floated off the small stage and into the park. The band built and built a sonic cloud like a tin sheet rippling after a strike, or like a steel string pulled suddenly taut.
Then it got really loud.
The band behind this year’s album “My Love Is Cool” aren’t really a ’90s-style alt-rock band, and they’re not really shoegaze revivalists. They just like to make big sounds, pretty sounds, screechy sounds and sounds that make you realize you’ve been beating your sternum with your fist five songs into the set. Above the din, Roswell remains clear-voiced and in control, eyes narrowed to hunt.
The whole of Wolf Alice comports themselves as their beautiful, predatory music would suggest. On “You’re a Germ,” Sid Vicious-styled bassist Theo Ellis opens his mouth as if to swallow his thick rhythms. Guitarist Joff Oddie demands hype from the crowd as he stalks the stage, jutting his neck out and making liberal use of his strap’s shoulder-sliding possibilities. Drummer Joel Amey is a blur. And Roswell attacks her shoutier moments with a Kathleen Hanna gusto, but she ends her songs with a mild Billie Piper “thank yew.”
Everything is strange and otherworldly, at times a My Bloody Valentine-esque swirl of tragically bright delirium, at times a set from a band that’s clearly listened to Nirvana before, at times a hint of Mazzy Star with rabies.
Wolf Alice tells the scary fairy tale the band’s name would suggest. Gather ’round.