"...it’s actually quite a brilliant thing that the singer has room to emote to his heart’s content; (words like ‘conundrum’ are used in the lyrics: an act that normally would lead me to random acts of violence on my house plants. This time not). "
Wild Beasts – Limbo Panto
Bloody hell, this is a bit different. To be honest with the singer’s voice as it is; Limbo Panto would be hard pressed to be anything but different. And to be fair, (and despite the accompanying hype – they’re on Domino, and Domino are masters in writing ridiculously pretentious press releases), it’s a very entertaining listen. Sometimes it does more than that, even living up to the “young man’s” statement on the inside sleeve: believe me, when you get as decrepit as I am, you don’t concern yourself with things like “The four boys of Wild Beasts aren’t concerned with being of the modern, or being of the renaissance, being baggy panted or being tight pantsed, being in a scene or being in a place. Wild Beasts’ music, being what it is, just is.” Fair enough, cock.
Anyway to the music. For all their proclamations of being somewhere else, opener Vigil for a Fuddyduddy doesn’t half remind me of Affectionate Punch-era Associates; slightly off kilter, pissing about with tempo and mood changes, and of course soaring vocal lines. And the titles (The Club of Fathomless Love, or Woebegone Wanderers anyone?) don’t half remind me of a certain singer in the Smiths. But fair do’s; it’s trying to inhabit its own space, filling the sound out with interesting little effects. Actually the sound is possibly the most impressive thing about this band; it’s big, open, and full of space and tension. And it’s actually quite a brilliant thing that the singer has room to emote to his heart’s content; (words like ‘conundrum’ are used in the lyrics: an act that normally would lead me to random acts of violence on my house plants. This time not).
Favourite songs on here? Well, what about The Old Dog, which is a strange tune, ghostly in tone and plain bonkers at times, but captivating none the less. Following immediately on is Please Sir which is a teenage gothic nightmare which somehow morphs into a slightly gamine waltz. “Take these chips with cheese/As an offering of peace” is also a line of genius.
Despite the purple prose emanating from their record company, I am won over. Check this out if you’re feeling lucky.
Words: Richard Foster