EP Review: Wild Beasts – ‘Punk Drunk & Trembling’

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As Wild Beasts announced their split over Twitter in late September, they planned to release this EP as a final message to all their loyal fans over their 15 years of service. Knowing this prior to listening to it, I was anticipating lush synthesisers, heart-wrenching vocals and a final farewell lyric, giving it everything to leave an ineradicable mark.

So, I was rather taken aback at ‘Maze’, the delicate choral closing track, with instrumentation towards the end that seemed to want to break to the surface to unleash, only for the song to fade to black. The title track also avoided a sense of climax, and instead focused on the creativity required of them to last until this time. Instead of choosing a simple melodic idea, and using lyrics to advance the song, they reverse this; keeping the lyrics constant, but using the music to fluctuate the meaning. Perhaps, then, their departure was intended to be an apparent anti-climax, only to then cajole you into looking closer at what the EP stood for: that their music will still last if people listen to it, before it drifts away. For what this EP is worth, it’s reasonable to keep it alive.

[Conor O’Hare]

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