With 2015’s My Love Is Cool, Wolf Alice delivered on the promise of early singles and rose to be one of the most important UK breakout rock outfits in years. At a time when bemoaning the lack of British guitar bands was becoming cliché, the London four – fronted by the increasingly assured charisma of Ellie Rowsell – were a beacon of hope. In the two years that followed the band were relentlessly on the road, enduring the ups and downs of touring and collecting the shared experiences which inspire Visions Of A Life.
From its glorious shoegaze opener ‘Heavenward’, a stunning, melancholy album highlight, written about the death of a friend, to the epic, stadium-ready, slow-burning title track which closes proceedings, the album showcases the brilliant versatility Wolf Alice have developed. Moments of ‘Space & Time’ and ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ see them at their subtle yet spine-tingling best; in the latter Rowsell mixes the wonderful, sentimental poetry of teenage notebooks, with impassioned cries of “What if it’s not meant for me, love?”.
There’s aggression too, as they look to mirror the ongoing sociopolitical frustrations felt by young people everywhere: comeback track ‘Yuk Foo’ is an exhilarating, punk-soaked middle-finger to the haters, while ‘Formidable Cool’ contains some of their most ferocious moments to date.
With Visions Of A Life, they have not only built on a miraculous debut, they’ve continued to prove themselves as one of the most complete rock bands on the planet right now; for Wolf Alice the sky remains the limit.