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Living next door to Wolf Alice


Rob Jones

The Camden combo Wolf Alice wed a range of rhythms in their quest for glory. This hot young band are a kaleidoscope of cutting-edge, contemporary independent rock. The tunes delivered form a smorgasbord of sounds that in the main spiral out of a series of 90’s nuances. However, Wolf Alice can go further back in time to move forward – and, their magpie momentum introduces a new breed of fan to an array of aural alternatives that are constantly in motion.
After a listen to the sophomore Wolf Alice album Visions of a Life one can detect the up tempo textures of: Republica, Salad, Sleeper, The Pretenders, Penetration and some. However, both the dreamier and direct elements of Lush and Curve are to the fore and the vocals of i.e. Miki Berenyi/Emma Anderson of the former act and Toni Halliday of the latter spring to mind. However, the more folksy balladeering elements of All About Eve also come in to the equation.
Wolf Alice lead lady Ellie Rowsell has a petite frame but she certainly has a big voice – and, if not full on with swathes of attitude this enigmatic empress can also adopt subtle tones. The vibes can wander from a shoegazing sensibility via a multitude of gears which in turn can coat contorted and competent constructions.

Wolf Alice offer beauty and the beast and the skills called for to deliver soft sounds and raw rebellion are aplenty on long player two.

Ellie Rowsell directs from the front with aplomb. Theo Ellis can beat a bass with bombast but when the pace drops he can alter his emphasis . Joff Oddie may scythe through his six strings with a storm or serenity; and, Joel Amey has a tendency to be a windmill of action on the drum set but like his compatriots he can display an ostentatious front or a more withdrawn role.
All in all, it is a fine set but when Wolf Alice have their foot on the pedal that is when the vibe is most pleasing. The first four tracks of the record are as good as anything that follows i.e. Heavenward, Yuk Foo, Beautifully Uncoventional and Don’t delete the Kisses. This punchy quartet will drag you into a work that has so much more in its vaults. Where devils meet angels – Wolf Alice have bite but they can also caress.
Living next door to Wolf Alice – it makes for an intriguing neighbourhood!
However, for now a major act has made a major impact to a very satisfied throng. For those about to rock salute the Beautifully Unconventional Wolf Alice!!!