Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life Review 

Wolf Alice’s second album ‘Visions Of Life’ released via Dirty Hit, produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Paramore, Beck, M83) and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Bowie, Arcade Fire, Adele), is the kind of collection of tracks that transports you into a world of teen drama and existential crisis, while proving that British alternative rock will never surrender.

Opener ‘Heavenward’ soars into life with ethereal guitars and lead singer Ellie Roswell’s delicately building vocal. Feeling rooted in the band’s shoe-gaze era the melody is subtle and dreamy. Drifting and not pounding into being, before a wall of feedback emerges, giving that familiar distorted edge to the tracks mournful tone. 

Though not everything is soft and day-dreamy within this vision of life. ‘Yuk Foo’ is a sharpened teeth punk-edged kick of vengeance. Rosewell’s vocal mixes like hardcore screams against bassist Theo Ellis and drummer Joel Armey’s thundering rhythm. 

Teenage love’s, or at least the idea that a relationship can take you back to that awkward feeling of not quite fitting your own body and not knowing how to really convey your emotions without seeming like a complete mess, is covered within many tracks but perfectly encapsulated in both the swooningly delicate, swirling guitars and pulsing beat of ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’ and ‘Formidable Cool’s tumbling riffs and savagely howled vocals. 

Tracks like ‘After The Zero Hour’ and ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ continue the embracing of Wolf Alice’s softer, cinematic side. With the latter painting the picture of a partner in crime tale, Ellie Rowsell’s vocal plays with the description of female friendship, while layers of chunky guitars and delicate samples create an utterly captivating track; ‘I long to see (her arms above my soul), I long to be (with her forevermore)’.

Moving from darker rock sounds into softer touches of shoe-gaze 

‘Planet Hunter’ is yet another drifting track that feels laced with 90’s alt-rock subtleties. Telling tales of clouded eyes and failed romances from the morning after the night before as things are lifted so high into orbit you can barely see the earth beneath you; ‘And it was never ever gonna last long, And it was only ever gonna go wrong, And in the morning I only have myself to blame.’  

Ethereal folk mixed with crunching grunge is embraced wholeheartedly in the vibrant and yet delicately whispered ‘St. Purple and Green.’ Even with some almost spoken word phrasing things still remain soaring above the clouds.

Overall ‘Visions Of Life’ is an album that seems to pull together everything Wolf Alice can muster into a bold and expressive statement of intent. Though in places things feel like a continuation of their debut, 2015’s ‘My Love Is Cool’, with barred-teeth electronic folk mixed with grunge shoe-gaze, tracks inevitably show a refinement in the bands sound as exuberant guitars and enticingly raw lyrics propel you into Wolf Alice’s world. 

Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life = 8/10

Hayley Miller

This Weeks Music Video with Mick Jagger, Kendrick Lamar feat. Rihanna, Lorde, Stereophonics & Wolf Alice

Single Review – Wolf Alice – Don’t Delete The Kisses

After the first hint of Wolf Alice’s forthcoming second album ‘Visions Of A Life’, due for release on the 29th of September, in the shape of fiercely vengeful ‘Yuk Foo’ things calm down considerably with the band’s mellower second single ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’. A sweet track that gives a Pulp meets La Roux edge to Wolf Alice’s fuzzy alternative-rock. Ellie Rowsell whispers her insecurities of flirtatious texting softly in your ears, sighing through hazy verses in a way that seems to echo with the scribbled heartache of too many a love torn teen diary. Probably the closest to an out and out love song that Wolf Alice is likely to create, any romantic cliches are kept to a minimum wrapped in humanised chipped nail varnish and Dutch courage failures. Things are kept bright and airy as synths lift the track into a breezy though lyrically pessimistic chorus, and aren’t they really the best kind.

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Wolf Alice – Yuk Foo

First track from second LP ‘Visions Of A Life’, ‘Yuk Foo’ is a spite filled scream of vengeance; ‘I don’t want to be cruel, but you’re really grinding. I’m not a fool but I have a rage and it’s blinding.’ Siouxsie and the Banshees meet John Lydon in a dark alley while Black Francis throws stones, Ellie Rowsell’s, sometimes wonderfully yelped, vocals are fuelled with enough boiling, snarled anger to cut glass and reignite a nation of the disillusioned, tired and bored into a joyous form of anger that leaves you bouncing off the walls. Pushed forwards by a fearsome wall of industrial level grunge guitars and a bone shattering rhythm ‘Yuk Foo’ builds into a frenzy of twisted howls and splintered shrieks of frustration distilling everything that’s great about Wolf Alice into one of the best 2 minutes and 13 seconds of 2017.

Hayley Miller