Frontiers 2019

REVIEW: ‘Frontiers’ – W O L F C L U B

W O L F C L U B – “Frontiers”

Reviewed by Christopher Smith

W O L F C L U B are brothers Chris, Steven and Tim Wolf from Nottingham in the UK and are one of the foremost and prolific artists of NewRetroWave. “Frontiers” is their brand new and fourth studio album since their self-titled debut in 2017. They’ve been busy releasing an album every year since with “Chasing The Storm” and “Infinity” in 2018 as well as remixing dozens of tracks as well as promoting their own music.

“Frontiers” is another superb album of electro/synth-pop, much of it with a routed sound set firmly in the mid-1980’s. The album kicks off with “Electrify” a perfect Summer drivetime anthem, you can hear the sun radiating through the windscreen as you cruise along the highway or byway. “Flame” continues this theme with a much more profound and epic feel to it. “Symmetry” is definitely a blast back to the 80’s with superb synth and drum programming that could accompany any montage sequence in any of those teen flicks of thirty-five years ago.

The title tracks brings in German jazz trio Indigo for a down tempo electro 80’s slow number that just captures you and envelopes you in its rhythm. “Midnight Fires” brings the tone back up and keeps the sun shine in and all around with its almost pop-y, late-80’s tracking, the same applies to “Rivals”, the next track and another upbeat number. Both tracks are short and sweet but blend together perfectly as if they were actually one. “Gravity” settles back to 80’s retro synth with a punch and atmospheric style.

“Purity” features producer Iko and churns over and over again and again till it just finishes. Perfection. The final two tracks “Reunion” and “Mixtape” go back to the 80’s for more cinematic synth and chilled anthems that link and relink back to the start of this album. It’s another superb long-play offering from NewReroWave in the wake of recent albums from Michael Oakley and Ollie Wride and for all those (like me) who simply cannot accept anything that existed after 1989 and still live for 1984, this is more pure 80’s retro synth music from a time when the tape cassette ruled and there was only use for a computer was to play 24-bit games. Rejoice.

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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