Wolf Alice are bored. And what a way to shake things up than with a big middle finger to absolutely everyone.
“Yuk Foo,” the first single from Wolf Alice’s sophomore record Visions of a Life takes unadulterated, adolescent angst, loads it into a shotgun, and fires. It splatters your brains against a wall with a menacing grin and leaves no survivors. Ellie Roswell (lead vocals, guitar) gargles and spits in frustration: “I don’t wanna be cruel, but you’re really grinding. I’m not a fool but I have a rage and its blinding.” That blinding rage has been sitting for a whole two years, releasing like a boiling over vat of poison, like the sting of a scorpion with every lick of guitar and quick-witted snap of lyrics.
Am I a bitch to not like you anymore?
Punch me in my face,
I wouldn’t even fight you no more
‘Cause you bore me
You bore me to death
Well, deplore me
No, I don’t give a shit
Watch: “Yuk Foo” – Wolf Alice
“Yuk Foo” is an intense reintroduction to Wolf Alice. Gone are the days of skipping through fields to ‘Freazy’ and the twinkling lights of ‘Bros’ have flickered and died. Thrashy, trashy, raw and chilling, Wolf Alice fly off the handle as Ellie laughs hysterically mid-track. The tension heats up as Ellie growls: “I feel it coming, is it exciting? I feel it coming and I’m unwinding”. The bass thuds and pounds like a migraine. The shrill feedback brings hands to ears and rises before the chorus explodes in a mushroom cloud of pure, acidic rage as Ellie tells it like it is: “You bore me.”
Speaking to Annie Mac on Radio 1, Wolf Alice agreed they wanted to “come back with a bang” – a juxtaposition from the haunting postcards of candid film photographs and lush, wintery fields they sent to fans, teasing each track from their new album.
Hailing from North London, the four-piece received critical success from the get go. Forming officially in 2012, Wolf Alice released their first single “Fluffy” the following year. By 2014, they already had a Grammy nomination under their belt as well as two EPs, Blush and Creature Fears.
Their 2015 debut My Love is Cool helped Wolf Alice receive a number of awards, including the UK Festival Awards’ Best Breakthrough Artist, iTunes’ Best New Artist, and NME Awards’ Best Live Band and Best Track for “Giant Peach.”
My Love is Cool twisted through trippy and energetic rock tracks to melancholic sentimental shoegaze and acoustic numbers. One element that has carried through to “Yuk Foo” is apathy. Apathy towards modern society, to public opinion and to following convention in the face of music.
I don’t wanna be cruel, but you’re really grinding
I’m not a fool but I have a rage and it’s blinding
I feel it coming, is it exciting?
I feel it coming, yeah I’m unwinding
Grungy, gritty and grating, Wolf Alice have managed to strike a match to a completely new flame; yet ignite the fire in the belly of grunge and rock music that seems to be missing from modern day alternative. A female lead is always refreshing to hear, yet Wolf Alice go beyond that novelty. They captivate with intrinsic, gloomy melodies in tracks such as “Silk” and ‘White Leather’, yet show the world they are not to be messed with in “Giant Peach” and “Freazy.”
“Yuk Foo” follows suit from its predecessors with its ballsy, no-can-do attitude, but with more bark and a hell of a lot more bite. Wolf Alice aren’t to be messed with. Wolf Alice are on a course of self-destruction, the blast leaving a scar on the music world in the most superb fashion.
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