Monday, August 08, 2016
Album Review :: Wild Beasts - Boy King
August 5 2016 (Domino)
Words: Alison Mack
This fifth album, the follow-up to 2014's 'Present Tense', is, say the band, Wild Beasts sounding like a band of that name would. While there's not much of the vicious and deadly about 'Boy King' there is a raw pop sensuality that mixes big sound guitars and a swaggering of male testosterone.
Recorded in Dallas, Texas, with John Congleton (St Vincent, Swans), 'Boy King' is a gritty, visceral concept album of sorts, with most tracks heavily guitar-based, but its forte lies in its lyrics. From 'Get My Bang', the louchely funky exploration of consumerism, to 'Big Cat's “Take the collar off, baby…” - a dig at corporate greed, while on the shudderingly raw 'Eat Your Heart Out Adonis' we are informed in no uncertain terms how they "like it messy / Don't you make it neat."
'Tough Guy' excels in its funky approach, crunchy synths and jagged guitars, while ‘Alpha Female’ unbridles electronics, heavy hooks and a stalker-ish line from Hayden Thorpe in "alpha female / I’ll be right behind you." Elsewhere, Tom Fleming takes on vocal duties on ‘2BU’ and plays with minimal glittering synth swells, and ‘Celestial Creatures’ sheds a juddering bass and dance floor grooves to be one of the album's standouts.
Intriguing, illuminating and bold, Wild Beasts show there's a whole lot of man animal to be had.