Well, Wolf Alice are back, quite literally, with a bang. Easily their most ferocious record to date, Yuk Foo is the lead single from Wolf Alice’s second album Visions of a Life.
A little under two years ago, Wolf Alice delivered on their ever-growing hype with one of the most self-assured and mature debuts of a band this decade. However, as proved by bands such as Peace and Slaves, this often leads to a rushed and forgettable follow-up. However, if Yuk Foo is anything to go by Wolf Alice might have a chance of avoiding the dreaded second album slip-up. Brimming with ambition and enthusiasm, Yuk Foo is everything a Wolf Alice wanted to hear from a comeback single.
The track is definitely recognisable from the first album, featuring a similar sound than the heavier tracks from My Love is Cool, but the main difference is the continually impressive Ellie Rowsell. Venturing into mostly new territory vocally, Rowsell is known for the occasional scream on tracks such as Giant Peach, but here she is all out aggressive; the track relies on her to pull off the sentiment of frustration and she nails it. “You bore me to death, well deplore me, I don’t give a shit” Rowsell threatens in burts of energy over a frantic drum beat that makes Fluffy look, well, exactly that. The exciting thing about Wolf Alice is the drive they seem to have to explore notions into other genres and sounds a lot of similar bands seem to lack and while the rest of the album is unlikely to sound much like this there’s no doubt it will feature the same excitement and innovation. Once again the factor that helps them pull all this off is undoubtedly Ellie Rowsell who is easily one of the most dynamic frontperson of any band right now. Although this track is reminiscent of bands such as Honeyblood, The Julie Ruin or Bully, it’s Rowsell’s vocals, along with the distinct Wolf Alice sound that make it stand out.
The only slight negative is perhaps the lyrics which are occasionally trying a bit hard to be “edgy” but most of the time the confidence the band shows helps make it work. Clearly directed at someone who is a source of annoyance and who Rowsell has no intention of spending any time with, the lyrics show no remorse in expressing her frustration. Wolf Alice always seem to add a little something to most tracks to make it there own and the ending where the instrumental ends dramatically as Rowsell screams “SHHIIIITTT” is a nice touch and it will be interesting to see how that fits into the full album when it arrives in a few months.
Overall, Yuk Foo is a dramatic and welcome return from Wolf Alice who will hopefully capitilise on this explosive track with an equally impressive sophomore album.