Wild Beasts

Boy King

Domino

Aug 05, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


As Wild Beasts get older, they get wisercontinuing to move inexorably towards a carnal lust that proves more dark and twisted than the teenage fumbles of their earlier incarnations. While 2014's Present Tense prowled around the fringes of such lust, taking stock of its emotional fragility, Boy King tears its way to the center in a smouldering, multi-flavoured gumbo of layered electronica. For one, Wild Beasts have now become a fully-fledged electro-pop outfit. Opener "Big Cat" glimmers and struts magnificently, "He the Colossus" rattles around an 808 drum beat, and lead single "Get My Bang" carries its influences on its sleeveclose your eyes and you can almost imagine Prince prowling around in all his New Power Generation-Lycra glory. But it would be so easy to mock the idea of a bunch of English kids from Cumbria attempting such chutzpah if it wasn't for the fact that the band seem utterly at home in their own skin hereconfident, ambitious, and brash but still with enough delicate and tender moments to impress upon you that the band still has their heart intact. The strikingly beautiful closing "Dreamliner" is almost aching in its post-coital pathos.

Wild Beasts seemed somewhat caught between worlds and personalities on Present Tense. Here, they seem unfettered, alive, and practically revelling in their embrace of new sounds and textures. On album highlight "Tough Guy," they wield a profoundly physical fuzz bass at you before Hayden Thorpe sing-raps "Now I'm all fucked up/And I can't stand up/So I better suck it up/Like a tough guy would" before he suddenly roughly grunts "Urgh" and then they immediately explode into a gloriously debauched and soaring guitar solo. Boy King is a thrilling and evocative step forward for a band who seem to continue evolving at a remarkable rate. Rarely sitting still, every questing, continually lustful but now increasingly confident; they are the lothario in the corner of the party with the best clothes, the best lines, the best moves in the bedroom but who will also kiss you goodnight after. Good luck competing with that. (www.wild-beasts.co.uk)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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