Although people have been pretending otherwise since it got re-relased, Gnarwolves’ debut, Fun Club, wasn’t really up to much. It was good and all, and the potential was there, but it’s obvious why it wasn’t until CRU came out that they turned in to one of the UK’s most loved punk bands pretty much overnight…

Release: 24th June 2013
FFO: Rvivr, Lifetime and Bangers 
A few reviewers have been determined to shove Gnarwolves in to the emo corner for whatever fuckin’ reason, but CRU was punk rock, pure and simple, the middle ground between RVIVR and Lifetime stylistically, with an attitude that swung closest to a younger Lawrence Arms. Thirteen minutes long and instantly replayable, you could listen to it five times in a row before you’d realised what the fuck happened.

CRU was an absolute banger, for sure, which has made anticipation for Funemployed pretty high. Unfortunately, things that are highly anticipated usually suck, and with the cover art reaching new levels of crappy, then combining with the title to exude that deadbeat pizza-obsessed waster vibe that is oh-so-tired at this point… well, man, things could have got bad for Gnarwolves here.

But! Fortunately for them! And us! And everyone! They’ve pulled it out and done it again, more or less. And they’ve not just made the exact same record as last time, either. The opener, ‘Melody Has Big Plans’, gets heavy. Not, like, Bastions heavy, and not quite Kid Dynamite heavy either, but somewhere in the middle, and it totally rips. ‘Tongue Surfer’ continues the hardcore vibe, and things settle down to sound a little more like CRU after that, but the message is clear – this is not a band that phones it in. Gnarwolves have already suggested they can push themselves hard from EP to EP, and Funemployed just confirms it.

Standout Track: ‘Melody Has Big Plans’ Clearly the next record from Gnarwolves will be has highly anticipated as this one, and hopefully it’ll manage to not be shit. It’s hard to be too worried, but you have to wonder where they’ll go with it. The full-length route doesn’t seem right for these guys. They’re doing a perfect job of packing as short a time as possible with as much killer punk rock as physically possible, and the concept of not hearing them backed in to that corner doesn’t really appeal. Because much like CRU, Funemployed is compulsive listening. As soon as those nine and a half minutes are over, it’s all too easy to put it on again. And again. And again. For ever and ever, amen.

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Words by Rob Evans