A sex glorifying, woman yearning, ego-filled yet ego-squashed album is not a shock coming from the already notorious Wild Beasts. Stripped further back from their previous album, Present Tense, Bassist Tom Fleming recently said to NME that “The last record was made up of love songs” but that Boy King is “F*** songs”. You feel this arrogance play itself throughout the electro-rock-indie-pop genre piece, yet with lonely subtle undertones.
Settling your ears onto the first song on Boy King; ‘Big Cat’ invokes an excited anticipation of what will unfold throughout the rest of the album. Front man Hayden Thorpe’s voice drips sexuality; sparking a thought in me of what a love child between Prince and Alison Moyet may have sounded like. Whilst letting Thorpe & Fleming’s voice’s ooze out over different tracks, there is an underlying tempo created by the funky riffs and beautifully placed drum beat, yet as the album builds, you find yourself missing distinction between songs; which only really comes towards the last song, the slow, haunting ‘Dreamliner’.
Boy King is an apt name for the quartet’s latest album. Following a theme of a boy obsessed with sexual gratification, clearly shown in songs like ‘Get my Bang’ with lyrics such as “me dangerous baby weaponised” and “no getting it right no getting wrong, just getting it on, that’s how I get my bang”. You can imagine a little boy getting his own way wearing a King’s crown. Yet this album is in no way misogynistic; with such songs as ‘Alpha Female’, where the boys sit back and express “I will not hold you back, simple as that, Alpha Female”. The album manages to concisely contradict it’s arrogant tones, and show the desperation, and ego-shattering distress that comes with a boy wanting to get his kicks – shown in the ‘Ponytail’ lyric, “She won’t come lightly, beautiful agony” & “I want you to love me”.
Flirting with your inner-hedonist, and your constricted ego; but playing fire with the solace we all find within ourselves; Boy King brings to mind the Madonna lyric “Poor is the man who’s pleasure’s depend on the permission of another” and it is certainly worth a listen.
Boy King is released on August 5th via Domino Recording Co Ltd.