MP3: All The King's Men
Well, this is an absolute beauty of a performance from Wild Beasts. I've had these guys on the periphery of my music radar for a while, since Napoleon IIIrd supported them on tour this year. They're one of those bands that are obvious real quality, but it didn't quite click. The sticking point was the occasionally yelping, histrionic delivery of the vocal, recalling Sparks perhaps with a touch of the Jeff Buckleys.
But when something is good, it gets through eventually. "All The King's Men" is an evocative song with a humid, exhilarating feeling to the instrumentation, bringing to mind the excitement of a party on a steaming summer night. Lyrically, it's a cryptic treatise on seduction, sex and procreation. The first verse draws out some strikingly non P.C. positions, such as casting women as attention loving wallflowers and men as predators. It goes on to talk about what men and women want from each other, and what they end up with, in broad, sweeping terms. It's tricky to untangle the intent of the lyrics, in which nobody comes out particularly well. But it's fun trying.
A genuinely rich piece of music, and a highlight from the album Two Dancers.
WATCH: Live at Hoxton Hall
BUY: Vinyl with download code from Norman Records
And here's a video made by some dancers the band apparently met at SXSW.