Friday, July 10

Wild Beasts- 'Two Dancers'

. Friday, July 10

Having charmed and beguiled many in 2008 Wild Beasts return little over a year later with their second album and bring to it a more taught and defined sound. For many Wild Beasts are a (to use an ugly phrase) WTF? type band. Their liberal use of falsetto twinned with a general demeanour not suited to the ruthless decade we live in made them an easy target for the haters and even easier for those looking for a band to fall deeply and madly in love with.

Having seemingly taken some constructive criticism on board the vocal performance of Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming is markedly more restrained on ‘Two Dancers’. Bar the feral croon of ‘All The Kings Men’ the high pitched tones are few and far between with reverb and a beautiful guitar tone providing the defining sound of the record. It’s a sign of maturity that what is indisputably the Kendal bands unique selling point is used sparingly and therefore more effectively. ‘Hooting and Howling’ aside there is not a stand out track to define ‘Two Dancers’, it works far better as a whole and picking singles to promote the record will be a tricky task indeed. Lacking a ‘Devil’s Crayon’ style track may well be a weakness in the long run but ‘Two Dancers’ is an album that works like a stream of conscious. The way the skiffle of ‘This Is Our Lot’ morphs into the theatrics of ‘Underbelly’ is a delight to the ears as are the dense and atmospheric dynamics of the album’s core ‘Two Dancers’ and ‘Two Dancers II’.

All the eccentricities that make the band unique still remain (read the lyrics to ‘Hooting and Howling’ then ring Morrissey to tell him his time is up) but ‘Two Dancers’ is a solid step sideways for Wild Beasts. Not in a bad way you understand, they have enforced the foundations they laid on their debut record and tidied up the ragged edges. From here on in we expect progress and on the strength of ‘Two Dancers’ it could well be a glorious outcome.




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