Released: 20th September 2019
The difficult solo album becomes even more difficult when you never intended to make it. Still, for Wild Beasts’ Tom Fleming, the sock-pulling up exercise that was to become One True Pairing has transformed into something pretty special; 11 tracks that address the state of the nation with none of the faux-sincerity that makes similar concepts seem tired.
Invigorated by spiky synths and growling vocals, his rage is channelled through canals of bothering melodies. ‘I’m Not Afraid”s Springsteen leg-twitch rubs up against ‘Elite Companion”s skulking instrumentals, culminating in the brooding ‘Only God Can Judge Me’, which embodies the spirit of his previous band’s final record, rich with the metaphor of toxic masculinity and brutishness as a guise for insecurity. The sonic influences may be pure rose-tinted Americana, but make no mistake; This Is England.