“This is a booty call – my boot up your asshole” – Violent coffee-spewing moment. It’s not that the lyrics on this record are particularly shocking – brazen, certainly, and quite graphic but not on a latte-spraying level – except that they are delivered in that voice. Hayden Thorpe’s perfectly rounded “ooo”, clipped consonants and tremulously elastic falsetto would make any statement sound absurd, like the Queen recounting the orgy One attended the other night at which One glassed One’s dealer in the face.
With a level of bravado similar to the energy of the album, Thorpe boasts, “It is a galvanised Wild Beasts playing streamlined and sultry. It is Wild Beasts as the ugly duckling now grown graceful and full. It is Wild Beasts as you have never heard us before.” This is a swaggering overstatement and amusingly apt, capturing the essence of the band’s current sound that indeed has been slicked back somewhat since their debut.
Thorpe’s vocals are still bizarrely athletic, leaping from register to register, but the effect is less schizophrenic with fewer growls and more fluidity, the instrumentation confident, the beats less frenetic. The title track is a prime example; sung in an Antony Hegarty-ish voice with drowsy guitar strains, a smouldering bass hum and an easily simmering drum beat. Unfortunately you have to get through half this otherwise oddly sleazy album before you get to this track and, streamlined though it may be, if you can’t get past those vocals, you might want to skip the lot and go for a coffee.

By Sam Walton

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