Album Review: Wild Beasts – Two Dancers

By on Tuesday, 4th August 2009 at 2:11 am
 

Wild Beasts, a Kendal-originated indie band emerged last year with the brilliant ‘Limbo, Panto.’ It received critical acclaim and whilst it didn’t quite shift as many units as label mates Arctic Monkeys or Franz Ferdinand managed to push out, nobody doubted the quality. With such a rare and awkward sounding record many people may have thought that ‘Limbo, Panto’ was one for the novelty pile. A band so obscure that perhaps the one album would be perfect but anymore would tire out the sound. It would be fair to say follow up ‘Two Dancers’ has shafted those doubts in all minds, the band have once again managed to throw expectations out the window and produce a diamond record.

Lead single ‘Hooting & Howling’ with it’s soft distorted guitars is filled with energy and the USP vocals are on top form, Hayden Thorpe clearly hasn’t lost his ‘higher-than-Morrissey’ squeals. Paired with opener ‘The Fun Powder Plot’ the album quickly establishes itself as superior to it’s predecessor. As the title may suggest ‘The Fun Powder..’ is a pun-filled lyrically charming track which acts as a perfect opening to the record.

‘When I’m Sleepy’ is a particular highlight, the soft dream-pop start follows up with elegant yet chainsaw-like guitar tweaks, all layered of course with the most delicate of vocals. The vocals re-emerge on ‘We Still got the Taste Dancing on our Tongues’ which is a faster paced beat-based track with high moans and sleek lyrics: ‘the moon shine plays cheap tricks’.

Track ‘Two Dancers’ is a break from the rest of the record, operatic vocals put to the side, replaced by much  lower (almost effortless) spoken-word-styled vocals. The bass is fuzzy providing a dark and harrowing mood, the tone quickly changes to more upbeat with the introduction of drums in the chorus. ‘This is our lot’ is a bass driven track which starts softly melodic but ends in progressive climax with groans of ‘I couln’t be more ready, I couldn’t be more ready’ – another high point.

The beating drums in ‘The Empty Nest’ begin a chirpier track which ends a brilliant album. ‘Two Dancers’ is exactly what indie needs, the essence of independence (in terms of musical ‘uniqueness’ and innovative experimentalism) is captured in a way that most ‘indie’ bands couldn’t dream of. The perfect sophmore record, perhaps the band summed it up best themselves – Limbo, Panto sounded like an introduction to Wild Beasts and “this is what we do”, this is Wild Beasts living in the moment, reflecting on something that’s happened to us musically and non-musically.” And what a flaaless reflection it is.

9.5/10

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One Response

2:30 am
5th August 2009

Nice one, gonna check out more from this band after this useful review, keep up the good work

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