“Hold me, hold me, through dark night”
Whether or not you choose to open your arms to embrace Wild Beasts’ Hayden Thorpe, whose peculiar nasal delivery is something of an acquired taste, will divide opinion. However, through the beguiling falsetto croon, these Cumbrians have an understated depth.
Though many of the 1950s references are apt - suitable, perhaps, for post-war church fete celebration bookings - they sound equally in debt to the delirious pop sensibilities Orange Juice applied. In the same way that Edwyn Collins dulled the impact of his cutting lyrics with his odd vocals, it is difficult to distinguish Thorpe’s contribution. These happen to be remarkable: “Like a limp hand raised from a hospital bed, don’t be silly and squander what you are obliged to accept,” advices the lead track.
In the same vein as fellow Kendall townsmen British Sea Power, Wild Beasts have a bewildering ability to cite and summon unusual themes. Thorpe turns his shrill attentions to detailing school-ground developments on b-side ‘Please, Sir’. “But I only winded that lad, before he bolted,” bemoans this confessional before pleading forgiveness for its protagonist’s wrongdoings. Though it bears a concerning resemblance to popular karaoke croon ‘Without You’, it is feverishly distorted by their choirboy melodies.
Though this single fails to surpass the eccentric brilliance of ‘Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants’, this is relentlessly engaging. Whether or not you choose to open those arms is quite another matter.
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