It appears that 4 years was well worth the wait as Wolf Alice triumphantly return for their third studio effort.
Let me just preface this review by saying that my only past experience with the band was their massive hit single “Moaning Lisa Smile” which came back quite a while ago but was one of my favorite songs for a period of time. I’m honestly surprised this is my first foray into the bands’ actual catalog.
Nonetheless this is as good of a starting place as any as the production on this record from front to back is absolutely immaculate. The drums sound crisp and punchy throughout and the way all of the instruments are seamlessly woven together at times is astonishing and immensely impressive to say the least. I’ve noticed quite quickly that at least for me, the band are at their best when they can bring all of the instruments and layered vocals together for a crescendo. The way they use sound to create a building feeling within the listener is incredible to me and I found that aspect of their music to be overwhelmingly enjoyable.
I had a somewhat similar reaction to the first half of this record as I did with Portishead’s opus of a debut: “Dummy”. There’s a dark, brooding moodiness and emotional poignancy to this record that resonates with me so much. Ellie Roswell’s vocals are so emotive and impassioned I felt like I was holding onto every word she was saying as I melted into my chair in awe of how beautiful the music I was listening to was.
The production reaches a high point for me on the song “Feeling Myself”. All of the instruments work together so well on that song and the pacing is immaculate. Roswell’s vocal capabilities really get a moment to shine through the glamorous instrumentation in the last minute and it literally knocked me on my ass I had so many chills.
Some other favorites for me were definitely “The Beach” and “Delicious Things”, which serve as prime examples of the groups uncanny ability to bring their music to an incredible crescendo within some of their songs.
I have to say, I am absolutely blown away by this record. It’s not often for me that I think absolutely every track on a record is a banger. Not a single moment on this thing was wasted. I think my love for this record will only continue to grow with further listens. I can’t wait to put this on for all of my friends and have them ask me: “OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS? THIS IS AMAZING!!”. I will definitely be checking out the rest of their catalog as soon as I am done combing through this week’s releases. This is a gem of a record and one of the best releases of the year so far!!!