Chaotic Earthy Energy. Those are the sole three words I jotted down when I first listened to those Leeds noisesmiths Wolforna and their hard punching new (March 2023) single Break You. Having listened to Break You a whole lot more since, I might as well hang my keyboard up for the evening, as those three words for me still spell out the heart of this track.
Chaotic Earthy Energy.
The track though is a revelation. The last Wolforna track I reviewed (Reset) had its roots firmly in heavy rock with a hint of a punkish cross over. Here it’s entirely the other way around, where Break You is pure punk energy. I’m thinking of a musical thread weaving right the way back to the likes of Slaughter and the Dogs (I can guarantee no other reviewer will name check Slaughter and the Dogs haha), or to one of the granddaddies of the punk movement, The Damned and New Rose.
Wolforna have gone a long way since they formed in 2019 both in terms of musical development and the reputation they have built up as dependable, enjoyable rockers. The band have supported the likes of False Heads and The Hara and have a string of banging and diverse songs in the catalogue.
It’s also worth thinking about those Break You lyrics as in one sense there is an unpleasant anger in the theme of this song. But this is not a gentle tale, it’s the story of a toxic relationship, and that horrible but simultaneously special obsession between two people. “Break you” in this context has several potential meanings ranging from the very nasty, to the distant hope that perhaps a more positive bond might be able to be forged from all of that passion.
Wolforna capture that tricky rapture in Break You without it feeling icky, and I’m not surprised that when this song came together in a few hours at the tag end of last year it was fast tracked for a hard hitting, ear catching single. It’s a great call as it gives another side to this clever band.
* images taken from the band’s socials