Album review by KevW
This article also appears on http://www.soundsxp.com
There's a fine line between likeable, pristine, semi-acoustic indie and the M.O.R. mum-rock of Crowded House, and it's a line that London based five-piece Wolventrix must know well. It's a boundary they tiptoe along for the duration of this, their debut album, seeming to have not quite decided on which side to set up camp. This could position them as something of a gateway band; one to help gradually wean the James Morrison and Michael Buble fan in your life on to the harder stuff.
It would be rash to simply write Wolventrix off as middle of the road music for people who don't really like music, there are definite elements of merit to be found on 'Ours Till Dawn'. They undoubtedly know how to pen a tune, albeit tunes that are often entirely bereft of any bollocks, and when not veering towards the sickly-sweet, the lyrics are intelligent and witty. Sweeping highlight 'Wanderlust' concerns offsetting emissions following a long journey after clarifying the situation with the former environment minister - "I spoke to Ben Bradshaw, he said the carbon thing would be alright, if I plant 20,000 trees when I get back." It's safe to say this isn't your standard choice of song topics.
The regular employment of a string section does bring an expansive quality to tracks like 'Christmas Revelation' and 'Best Ways To Die', and the horn-fuelled 'Sham White Wedding' recalls The Divine Comedy at their most cabaret, but with the smugness removed. There's the nagging sense that if Wolventrix could bring in any kind of edginess it would transform them from being somewhat bland to a decent indie-pop band. Instead we're left with half an album's worth of guilty pleasures, half an album's worth of uninspiring, forgettable songs and testicles nowhere to be seen.
WOLVENTRIX - Wanderlust by Fabrique Records
WOLVENTRIX - Sham White Wedding by Fabrique Records
WOLVENTRIX - Electrical Storm by Fabrique Records