Wild Beasts are without doubt one of British music’s most valuable commodities, and five albums in, the Cumbria-via-Leeds four-piece are finally living up to their name in a literal sense. In the eight years since their debut LP, their back catalogue has developed into a supremely strong collection, morphing from quirky, artful pop of Limbo, Panto to the visceral pristine of Present Tense without every really being particularly wild or beastly. Boy King is precisely that. Its songs churn out their most muscular grooves yet, leaving a trail of testosterone in their wake. The antagonising funk and filthy blues of Tough Guy is sardonically contemptuous. Get My Bang slithers along an electronic path with a delicious arrogance. Hayden Thorpe’s falsetto has always been incisive and red-blooded, but when juxtaposed with these haughtier soundscapes, it becomes an entirely different animal. Boy King lends further weight to the view that Wild Beasts are one of the best bands operating in Britain today, and it’s not shy in doing so.
[FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD]