Wallows @ O2 Institute, 10 June 2019

American indie post-punk rock band Wallows haven’t been around for long, but their lack of years has not stopped them from becoming a force in the music world. With anthemic magnitude and hyper energised records, Wallows captures a certain teenage angst, funnelling all the feelings and emotions into layered tunes that are clearly loved by their fans. At the O2 Institute, Wallows created a stir, fuelling the night with an unstoppable wave of energy that perfectly captured the youthful enthusiasm that fills each of their records.

As teenage girls pace the floor looking for the perfect spot to stand in, rainbow lights descend on the blackened stage. With cheers shrill enough to wake a dog the members of Wallows bound onto the stage. From the first lick of guitar hands are raised, people are screaming, and you know you’re in for a big evening. ‘Scrawny’ opens the night; with keys lightly floating against a flurry of guitars the new age rock tune with a hint of punk is the perfectly up-tempo energy blast that Wallows’ is known for. It is an immediate wave of sound and energy, a sustained ethos that lasts throughout the evening.

The boundless energy of Wallows continues through the set. Some records bring a hint of 80s flavour, like fan favourite ‘Sidelines’ and ‘Are You Bored Yet?’ with dancing electronic keys and synth heavy chords. Other tunes have an almost 90s California pop cool, no doubt a reflection of Wallows location for creation. ‘Sun Tan,’ with its 90s sound and trumpet section and fan favourite ‘These Day’ bring that sonic breakdown that fans love.

Aside from some throwback sonic elements Wallows curates sounds that are very much indie post-punk rock. With soaring guitar riffs and anchored drums Wallows tunes are anthemic yet personable, creating this euphoric elevation of life and love that the crowd clearly connects to. Wallows interlaces a few slower paced ballads into the set, highlighted by ‘Drunk on Halloween’ and ‘Do Not Wait,’ but for the most part the set is an investigation into all the highs and lows of life. Banger after banger weaves throughout the set, with some highlights coming from ‘Treacherous Doctor,’ ‘Ground,’ ‘Pictures of Girls,’ and ‘Only Friend.’

There is a relentless, ecstatic energy that spills into a Wallows set. With music that perfectly captures the exploration of identity and with a sound that is holistically transcendent Wallows is primed for a monstrous musical life. At the O2 Institute Wallows delivered hit after hit, with fans fully invested they filled the night with unbound energy that left everyone transformed.

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