Wild Beasts have produced intelligent, louche art pop with the ability to get under the skin for 15 years now. After announcing their split at the end of last month, the band left us a three song EP as a parting gift.
The EP opens with the title track “Punk Drunk & Trembling” - a tune which fits well into their recent synth inflected sound whilst exploring themes central to many Wild Beasts songs. The narrator is ‘trembling’, ‘terrified’ but ‘punk drunk’. It’s similar to songs like “We Still Got the Taste Dancin’ on Our Tongues” in its exploration of lust.
“Last Night All My Dreams Came True” is a song which combines the best things about Wild Beasts. The lyrics are sexual (of course) and almost sleazy: ‘ooh, baby!’; ‘the feathers we ruffle / while we’re young and still supple / we’re virile together’.
However as always there’s a generous helping of sadness: “Some mornings I can’t even rise”, “Some mornings felt like I could die”. Tom Flemming and Hayden Thorpe’s distinctive voices alternate and weave into each other throughout. Their duets have always made for the most arresting Wild Beasts songs.
The last song, “Maze” wouldn’t be out of place on their 2011 album Smother, with moody bass and swirling reverb, along with Flemming’s voice, comforting like a warm bath. The last line, “I think I saw the future taking shape” seems a fitting end to their final release.
Punk Drunk and Trembling is an EP that displays the best of their later sound and leaves you wanting more. Whilst it’s exciting to see what each member will do in the future, it’s pretty heart-breaking that this is the last we’ll hear of this wonderful band. Wild Beasts, you will be sorely missed.