WOLFORNA – Amandolyn / Something Missing

Following a string of digital singles released between December 2021 and June 2023, this double a-side from rock artists Wolforna continues the Bradford band’s musical ascent. They have shown an ability with a riff or three previously, but these tracks take their sound a little further and – in the case of ‘Amandolyn’, couples a great tune with a strong vocal that could well be their best yet.

‘Amandolyn’ introduces itself with a quiet intro where the guitar and vocal are smothered in effects, giving an almost distant feel, which makes the arrival of the main riff sound even bigger. Crashing into a 90s influenced alternate riff, the track sounds huge, and especially so when using a melody to drive a very retro chorus where post-grunge moods loom large. Since that riff is coupled with a rousing vocal, the track takes no chances chorus-wise – it sounds like something you’ve known and loved since 1996 – but there’s more up Wolforna’s collective sleeve to make this tune more interesting. It shows a pleasing warmth on the verses when an understated voice steers through some atmospheric hard rock, and even finds time for a brief snatch of melody that sounds as if it were inspired by the trippier moments of Soundgarden’s ‘Down On The Upside’ album. Overall, it’s a near perfect three and a half minutes of hard rock with retro alternative vibes.

Musically, ‘Something Missing’ is almost ‘Amandolyn’s equal. It shifts between the hard edged and atmospheric with ease, and even takes a moment to share something even more aggressive than usual. By crashing in with a huge drum and guitar sound, it immediately grabs the listener’s attention, and by applying a darker toned vocal, it feels a little more ominous without losing too much of the previous alternative familiarity. With the help of an instrumental section that introduces a few chopping sounds and overdriven riffs in lieu of a traditional guitar solo, the band show off a little more of their aggressive side, and for those keeping a closer ear, a brief nod to a Royal Blood-esque bass sound adds a welcome toughness. There’s a lot packed into these two minutes, musically speaking. So much so, that someone forgot to write an obvious chorus. There’s a repeated refrain, but on early listens, it seems a little too buried in the bluster. In the long term, that doesn’t matter so much, as there’s the feeling of something great that’ll emerge a little further down the line, once the number has embedded itself within the listeners’ collective consciousness. Finishing with another rousing riff, it’s the kind of track that knows its inherent punchiness will win out over time.

This musical pairing presents a band brimming with confidence and slowly gaining more musical traction, and for fans of chunky alternative rock should be more than worth the price of a download. If you’re already familiar with Wolforna, there’s plenty to enjoy here – and even more so if played back at great volume. For first time listeners, this is more than accessible too; a great advert for a band on the rise. A recommended listen.

December 2023