Album Review

Wallows - Model

Before long, ‘Model’ begins to feel like a series of safe options.

Wallows - Model

It’s only been five years since Wallows’ debut album ‘Nothing Happens’ and ironically, quite a lot has in fact happened for the outfit. Already, the LA alt-rock trio are gearing up to play one of London’s largest rooms in Alexandra Palace as part of a global tour that will take them from Washington to Wellington. For album number three though, some of their magic seems to have been lost along the way. ‘Model’ starts brightly enough, the opening measures of lead single ‘Your Apartment’ like the first rays of sunshine that hit upon emerging from a night in a festival tent, before a blaring chorus that feels ready-made for mass live singalongs. Fellow singles ‘Calling After Me’ and ‘Bad Dream’ are similarly strong entries in the 12-song tracklist, but ultimately feel like the record’s most obvious selections, because before long, ‘Model’ begins to feel like a series of safe options.

Whereas they’ve previously benefitted from borrowing from the Vampire Weekend book of peculiarities, there’s little here that really steps outside the realm of comfortability and conformity. It’s a challenge to distinguish songs like ‘A Warning’ or ‘Don’t You Think It’s Strange’ as being Wallows, rather than the cavalcade of alt rock bands that rode that late-noughties wave of popularity, and the album’s strong-enough opening does little to distract from the toil of the tail end. The end result is an album that feels far longer than its sub-40 minute runtime, resembling the result of an AI program given a genre tag and band name as its only prompts. For a band that has risen this quickly, a misstep is not entirely surprising, but here’s to hoping it’s a detour rather than a new destination.

Tags: Wallows, Reviews, Album Reviews

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