Wolf Alice’s much anticipated ‘difficult second album’ is a melting pot of fury and seduction, the tracks slipping between an anger not dissimilar to Beastie Boys or Dream Wife, and a slick gauzy daze.
Ellie Rowsell’s ability to twist her vocals to ethereal or furious on demand is a standout feature of the album, with the pop delicacy of ‘Planet Hunter’ and the petty rage of first single ‘Yuk Foo’ exemplifying the sudden changes in vibe and dynamic. As the album progresses it switches towards a darker sound, layering deceptively angelic vocals over grungy guitars, the lyrics soaring from the romance of singles such as ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’ and ‘Beautifully Unconventional’.
‘Space and Time’ is two and a half minutes of euphoric pop rock that screams to get down and dirty in a mosh pit. Just listening to it makes you involuntarily catch your breath during the breakdown. It wouldn’t be out of place in a late 90s romcom.
‘After The Zero Hour’ is yet another change in direction, with the penultimate track feeling more pared back and almost folkloric in contrast to the anthemic sense of the album’s other parts. These can shift again from the album’s initial retro dreaminess, and all in all show the true spectrum and spectacle that Wolf Alice are capable of.
Bring on the live shows.