Wild Beasts are a marmite proposition but I found that, with a few exposures to the Two Dancers I quickly went from 'WTF is this' to 'this is different' to, finally 'this is amazing.'
And so it continued into Smother and now this, Present Tense, their fourth album. All USP's are ticked, the falsetto voice playing counterproint to the husky drawl, the studenty type lyrics from youngsters high on literary references, the minor chord pieces that steam train along, slow speed but utterly unstoppable momentum.
Present Tense is more of the same we've come to expect but if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Again it takes a few listens to appreciate what's going on here, I find that my all time favourite albums are ones I didn't get or even like upon first listen and this is no exception.
Of the three albums I have I think this is my favourite, the sound is maturing along with the band and the vocals are tricksy, inspired and very clever. Let us not forget the musical backcloth to all of this, the sound is beguiling. Somehow low key and at times barely there but it seems to have a force that cannot be countenanced.
Heady stuff, not for the musically uninitiated but if you are looking for a keeper of an album and are beyond pop fluff and empty sentiment give this a whirl.