Following up their debut My Love Is Cool, late last month Wolf Alice released their second album, Visions of a Life. This album, much like their debut, has evident grunge and dream-pop characteristics, whilst also finding new areas of exploration, from dreamy shoegaze to screaming punk, and everything in between. Although it takes you on a somewhat inconsistent journey, the album has you covered for every mood you’re in.
Talking of shoegaze, the album opens with ‘Heavenward’ – the sustained ambient guitars reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless tie together perfectly with Rowsell’s dreamy vocal melodies. Then, there’s a sudden change of mood as the next track, the album’s first single, ‘Yuk Foo’ arrives, kicking and screaming like nothing they’ve done before. It is far louder and more explicit than their previous tracks but was a confident step forward, with Ellie shouting, “you bore me, you bore me to death, you deplore me, and I don’t give a shit”.
Capturing the versatility of Rowsell’s voice perfectly, the album flows seamlessly into ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’. This dreamy love song has Rowsell softly delivering a spoken word monologue. It’s a relatable track for anyone navigating love and trying to play it cool with their crush. ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ and ‘Formidable Cool’ are tracks that are unafraid to show their 60s psychedelic roots. ‘Formidable Cool’ gives Ellie’s another opportunity to exploit her gritty vocals and is accompanied by a perfectly precise, relentless drum beat and a heart-pounding bass riff.
These gems of tracks sit comfortably within an accomplished work. As the band glides effortlessly through the challenging second album, it’s fair to say we can look forward to great things from them in the future.