On the face of it, “My Love Is Cool” tries too many things at once. From the softly pulsing ethereality of “Turn to Dust” to the grungy Juliana Hatfield rumble of “Moaning Lisa Smile” and the synth-addled, doom-guitar post-punk drive of “Giant Peach,” Wolf Alice comes across like a band leaving no statements unmade on its first album, lest there be no second. But it’s hard to argue that the band suffers from an identity crisis when nearly everything works. Some of the credit lies with Ellie Rowsell, who typically sings just above an icy murmur, though the rest of the London band isn’t afraid to go big; the epic-minded “Your Loves Whore” borrows strategies from Smashing Pumpkins without merely aping them (thank heavens). Wolf Alice balances the difficult combination of seeming guilelessness and utter confidence; not many young bands would have the restraint shown on “Swallowtail,” holding back for more than three minutes before the full band enters. “My Love Is Cool” makes Wolf Alice’s next move both unpredictable and eagerly anticipated. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Your Loves Whore”
Wolf Alice performs at the Middle East on Aug. 5.Marc Hirsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.