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PREMIERE: Ulysses Wulf Shatter The Family In Tenderkill Video

Ulysses Wulf

Melbourne-based indie rockers Ulysses Wulf are blowing up the nuclear family in the music video for their single Tenderkill. The track is the first from their EP ‘Like The Present’ which presents the band’s dystopian look at the modern world.

The video features footage of a family playing football in a park, intercut with archival footage of old professional football matches and is shot entirely in black and white. The clip goes on to show the family being torn apart when evidence of an affair leads to a moment of domestic violence in an otherwise seemingly peaceful house.

The track itself is largely guitar driven with some interesting vocal harmonies. The verses have a mechanical quality to them, with a repetitive rhythm and little chord variation. This guitar work is punctuated by a plodding bassline and simple drum beat that has just enough building messiness to warn of the impending explosion in the chorus. When this change arrives in the chorus, the vocal harmonies soar above a chaotic drum beat that focuses on polyrhythms between the ride and snare. The bassline shines in the chorus, with the slight distortion making it take control of the melody. The guitar line retains a mechanical feeling, however it works in with drummer Christian Lee’s polyrhythms.

‘Like The Present’ is a collection of so many different sounds and genres that at times it can be difficult to assign a single description to Ulysses Wulf’s materiall. Throughout the five tracks, you are presented with a huge variety of influences, from Boy & Bear to Foals and David Bowie, and no two songs sound the same throughout.

Opening track The Mountains are Falling blends a Bloc Party-style fast pace with electronic elements throughout the chorus and strong vocal harmonies. Vocoders and a bass cranked to 11 are offset by a staccato plucked guitar line that keeps the track moving the whole way through. Digging In The Basement on the other hand takes a completely different approach to songwriting. Still very bass-heavy, and again with a largely synchronised rhythm section, this song is focused on the vocal line instead. A hint of keyboard and a reverberating solo creates a slowed-down Franz Ferdinand sound.

Last To Leave leans heavily on a fuzzy blues bass riff along with an almost punk aesthetic on the vocal lines in verses. The trashy drums and backing vocals have been mixed to sound diminished and far away, giving the impression that this is the song Ulysses Wulf wanted to get their anger out on. The final track on the release, A Nickel sells the impression of a heavily depressed Boy & Bear, with blues influences coming through in the guitar lines. This is however complimented by a woodwind section in the later half of the track that is far better sounding than it would seem on paper.

Ulysses Wulf orginated in New Zealand as the outlet of writer Yule, before collaborating with bassist Vinny King and drummer Christian Lee and moving to Melbourne. The band are a big fan of interaction at their shows; at the launch party for Tenderkill, audiences were welcomed into an “office” where they were interviewed by a for a job, and their answers were shared over social media. Again for their EP launch party the band engaged in some micro-theatre where audiences were this time given a humorous performance review on their job.

Check out the video for the Tenderkill below!

Written by Max Higgins