Arden and the Wolves put together quite a compelling EP titled Who Can You Trust and it’s a forceful sophomore effort to the LA-based rock band. Led by singer/songwriter Arden Leigh, the new release explores what it means to heal after a series terrible relationships, while also what it means to survive from sexual assault during the #MeToo movement.
The EP starts off with its title track with hard hitting beats and spellbinding lyrics that feels more like engaging storytelling than something traditional hard Rock and Roll, while also having a catchy and toe-tapping sensibility that will make you sing-along at a moment’s notice with lyric like, “They’re out there watching your every move/I know that I’ve got a lot to prove /I’ll break my heart before I tell/Where do you go when you’re getting yours/Cuz we both know you’ve been burned before/So I’ll walk your seven gates of hell.”
Their sound is actually quite impressive, as Leigh has a very distinctive voice and knack for bright personality and alluring style. It reminds me of a mix between early Madonna and Evanescence, which feels like equal parts seduction and hard-edged Rock and Roll. The song “Another Year of Rain” points to the band’s interest in magic and witchcraft. The EP even comes with a digital booklet of spells and rituals that supposedly help those who need healing.
The release features five-songs in total, which feels like an extension of their debut release Break Me In and captures Arden and the Wolves’ evolving sound and persona. There’s even a cover of a Ramones song “Poison Heart” that’s perfectly fitting for the band’s style. The song is about combating the evils of the world when it seems like the deck is stacked against those who are trying to do good. Leigh compares it to the budding #MeToo movement that’s bringing awareness to sexual assault victims and the nasty power dynamic that puts toxic men in positions of power.
Arden and the Wolves’ version is suited for this generation of feminism with Leigh’s striking vocals during the song’s chorus, “Well, I just want to walk right out of this world/Cause everybody has a poison heart/I just want to walk right out of this world/Cause everybody has a poison heart.” It seems more like a call to arms for those who want to see real change in this world instead of merely lip service and keeping the status quo.
The Who Can You Trust EP is quite good and I’m seriously interested in listening to more from Arden and the Wolves. It seems like there was a lot of thought and care behind putting together the various elements of the release, while also creates a theme of healing and trying to gain a better sense of moving on during troubled times. The EP asks an important question, while it seems that the answer starts with you.
Songs – B-
Technical – C+
Overall – B-