Wolf Alice’s ‘Yuk Foo’ Takes No Prisoners

If there’s one thing you should know about Wolf Alice, it’s to never put them in a box. Their Grammy nominated debut album “My Love Is Cool” bounded between pacifistic indie-folk to turbulent grunge from track to track. If “Moaning Lisa Smile” was their ode to grunge revival, “Yuk Foo” is their jab into riot grrrl punk… except with boys, too.

The Daily Telegraph referred to Wolf Alice as “feral and sophisticated” with their first album. The first song off their sophomore effort is plenty feral, but hardly sophisticated with “shit” and “fuck” echoing through every verse and chorus.

It is almost as if Wolf Alice has followed in the sophomoric footsteps of their label mates The 1975. After a successful debut album and coinciding two-year tour, The 1975 returned with their single “Love Me,” the most bombastic track they have released to date. To that effect, “Yuk Foo” makes a worthy adversary on Wolf Alice’s part.

The distorted guitars come in heavier than ever, and lead singer Ellie Rowsell refuses to be drowned out by them. Her kicking and screaming vocal performance is anything but refined and carries all the qualities of an adult channeling their childhood tantrums. (“You bore me to death. You deplore me. No, I don’t give a shit.”)

I know it may sound like I’m hating on the song, but quite the contrary. Once you get past the inflated acerbity, you hear the stymied cry of a discontented existence verging on nihilism.  (“Punch me in my face, I wouldn’t even fight you no more.”)

“Yuk Foo” embodies the cathartic release we’ve been starving for in frustratingly regressive times. It’s an existential crisis come to a head, when you’re beyond analysis and philosophical meanderings and just need to scream. Amidst senseless, excessive consumerism and the tedious narcissism of selfie culture, Wolf Alice has returned to spit in the faces of conveyor-belt conformists… because they don’t give a shiiiiiiiiit.

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