Wild Beasts

Smother (Domino)

ACL Music Fest Friday Reviews

Wild Beasts

Smother (Domino)

England's Wild Beasts require an all-in devotion to appreciate. On third LP Smother, Hayden Thorpe's trilling tenor torques with an Antony-esque emotion that's not easily ingested, its overt sexual tension requiring submission to appreciate. Opener "Lion's Share" foreplays awkwardly between staccato verse and a wailing chorus, but the electro-paced beats of "Bed of Nails" settle into a sensual rhythm that accentuates the libido-laced lyrics more effectively. "You plug the yawning void, and the world parts for you," Thorpe trembles on "Deeper," ramping its seduction into the gentle "Loop the Loop" and darkly erotic "Plaything," the latter heavily sighing with the juxtaposed sadomasochism of "I concur, I conquer." Just as the 7:30 of closer "End Come Too Soon" lingers interminably, Smother, roiling in passion often disorienting in its envelopment, is difficult to penetrate, but there is ecstasy in the succumbing. (1:30pm, Honda stage)

***.5

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