With unbridled confidence, Melbourne three-piece Ulysses Wulf are set to release their debut EP Like The Present at the end of this month. Originally hailing from New Zealand, frontman Yule has put his solo career with Loop Recordings on the back-burner, moving to Australia and teaming up with long time creative partner Vinny King (bass) and drummer Christian Lee for this new project.
Inspired by Yule’s experiences navigating professional life, Like The Present could be seen as a conceptual piece – the band have been alluding to the EP’s release on social media, using the Twitter hashtag #likethepresent to narrate a foreboding and almost dystopian setting to accompany their musical debut. Paranoid and confessional, these tweets set a dark tone for the EP, which explores the collapse of both the environmental world and the social facades of one’s personal life.
The opening track, The Mountains Are Falling shows Ulysses Wulf stepping out with few reservations. Its environmental message is difficult to ignore, sung with the necessary level of distress and urgency, however the band don’t seem to be urging change as much as resigning themselves to disaster with the prominent lyric, “we realise that we are all stuffed!” Heavily percussive with distorted vocals and nostalgic synth, the tune swells to a chaotic climax before coming to a sudden conclusion, a fitting end to the EP’s bold introduction.
The following track, Tenderkill, immediately takes the EP in a different direction, with a slow and choral introduction quickly switching to a smooth and sexy guitar drive. Along with dark vocal melodies, Tenderkill is the immediate standout of an album where every song begs for your attention.
Digging In The Basement is surprisingly catchy considering its sinister themes and jarring vocals, while the following Last To Leave is bluesy and aggressive in comparison. You can sense the 90s alternative influence of the final track, If I Had A Nickel, however its uplifting ending maintains the surprising aspect of the EP.
Like The Present is an eclectic release, with each track drawing on a range of influences, however Ulysses Wulf do adhere to a consistent structure for each song, with brief, if not non-existent choruses, and swelling conclusions that come to a short stop.
The result is an ambitious debut, which, despite all its clashing elements, has been flawlessly constructed to leave you wanting more. As an EP, then, Like The Present, certainly fulfils its purpose.
Ulysses Wulf will be playing an EP release on the 30th of April at the Workers Club in Fitzroy.
Like The Present will be available as a free digital download from SoundCloud and BandCamp from April 30th.