Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life

wolf alicewolf alice

wolf alice

It has been a little over two years since Wolf Alice‘s debut album My Love is Cool was released, and I think it’s fair to say the band hit the ground running upon its release. Since then they have played sold out show after sold out show, ventured over to the USA and beyond, and just as importantly, kept us all impatiently waiting for new music. The good news is the wait is over: if you are a Wolf Alice fan Friday the 29th of September is going to be a good day for you. But will it deliver?

The ever so cliched second album is always difficult. Fans have their own vision for how the band will develop. Some bands get hyped up by half of the media as the next big thing (Wolf Alice certainly fall in to this category), whilst the second half of the media wait with baited breath for it to all come crashing down.

Within the first minute the sound of grungy guitars and Ellies ethereal vocals hit you and you know you are listening to some vintage Wolf Alice. Describing a band’s sound as vintage when they only have one album in their back catalogue is borderline ridiculous, but the sound that hits you couldn’t be anyone else. It’s a perfect opener to what you sense is going to be a quality album.

Track two is up with Yuk Foo, which received good radio airtime – especially considering the lyrical content which must have taken a while in Radio One’s back office’s being made family safe. It’s heavy, full of angst and I can’t help but hear a little Atari Teenage Riot in it. Ellie’s vocals and Theo’s bass drive the track and it’s fantastic, guaranteed to be a fan favourite played live.

Beautifully Unconventional and Don’t Delete the Kisses follow on from and are a total contrast to Yuk Foo. They are fantastic pop songs, with the latter being one of my standout tracks on the album: everything works perfectly in this song and I can’t help but feel it’s going to be a bit of a festival staple for them.

Planet Hunter is up next and it’s another wonderful pop/rock song with a catchy tune and soft and airy vocals, building slowly at the end to a short sharp killer deep bassline that I’m sure will sound amazing live.

wolf alice

Sky Musings brings a change in feel and sound, and this is where producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen’s influence shows. The song has an almost industrial feel to it with bass lines and a drum beat that wouldn’t be out of place on a more modern NIN song. The vocals are moody and whispered with a more typical Wolf Alice chorus, which brings some welcome familiarity to the tune. This feel and sound is continued in to Space & Time.

Last up, Track twelve, and I love it when I see the last song of an album is a long one. These elongated finales I often imagine to be epic, heavy tracks that build and grow, and that’s exactly what Visions of a Life does. Slow heavy drum beats, sludgy sounding bass with guitars kicking in and out, the song has layers and finishes with an anthemic shoe gazer-esque beat that wraps the seemingly not so difficult second album up nicely. There’s no suggestion during the twelve tracks that Wolf Alice have struggled or stuttered during the recording of this record. It’s got multiple sounds and multiple layers that all work together perfectly.

Anyone thinking they only had the one album in them will soon be proved wrong. Wolf Alice are back. Wolf Alice are sounding good. Visions of a Life will be a success and I can’t wait to hear it live.

Visions of a Life by wolf Alice will be released on 29th September.

Reviewer: Marc Osborne

 

Wolf Alice images courtesy of PR.

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