New to Wild Beasts? Not Sure? Well I can tell you their 2nd,3rd and 4th albums are amazing quality.
Present Tense is great - Mecca at its heart is simply one of the best songs written this decade. Epic. Smother - the previous album is a work of genius - every song has an edge - each track a hybrid of sparkling 80s pop synth and brooding melancholic rock sensibilities. Two Dancers - outstanding record - more catchy than the others I suppose, but ever so idiosyncratic, soft in places but also powerful and intense.
They are quite simply my new favourite band and that's only been the case for about two weeks. I am listening to all 3 albums at once and I can tell you that they have a unique quality - an edge, whilst also reminding me of such favourite acts as Anthony and The Johnsons (falsetto and in terms of melancholic / surreal style) and even muse - rampaging tunes with a sense of heaviness in places. The boys doing the singing get their harmonies just right but what stands out is just the sheer quality of their song writing.
They are a sensitive band without being cheesy or over egging it - they also take risks on each album. Rocking on but also making beautiful sounds that will lift your spirits. They tackle lots of paranoid/ humanistic themes in their lyrics which strangely sits happily with sometimes very cheerful or tinkly riffs.
If you are new to Wild Beasts then I would buy this, but at the same time get the previous two albums and listen to them all together.....it really is that good.
Fave tracks on Present Tense are Wanderlust, dMecca, Pregnant Pause, A Dogs Life and Past Perfect. Faves on Smother are Lions Share, Bed of Nails, Loop The Loop, Reach A Bit Further Faves on Two Dancers, The Fun Powder Plot, We Still Got The Taste Dancin' On Our Tongues, Two Dancers (i)
Though I must add I struggle to find a weak track at the moment.
And no I have not listened to their debut yet........I'm saving that one for the summer holidays......
I hold their previous 3 albums albums in high stead and was hoping this new one would be just as good. Thankfully it is, if not better.
Wild Beasts are a little different from other bands and better for it in my opinion. Introspective and reflective in places, the album is consistently strong and melodic. The odd burst of synth is a welcome addition and overall it is a very enjoyable listen.
This album is astonishing and is surely their best yet. It is a highly original, cohesive, addictive, minimalistic album and I can't stop listening to it from beginning to end - it is the sort of album you can get lost in.
The interplay between Hayden Thorpe’s falsetto and Tom Fleming’s rich lower registers really works on this album, the unique percussion excellent and the electronics warm and detailed, all wrapped up in superb production. There are some fantastic lyrics on here too; "In detail you are even more beautiful than from afar. I could learn you like the blinded would do. Feeling away through the dark" (from track "Palace").
Whilst all songs are excellent (there is absolutely no filler) and deserve to be played in album order, if I was pressed, my favourites on the album would be "Wanderlust", "Mecca", "Sweet Spot", "A Simple Beautiful Truth" and "Palace". I'd only heard "Wanderlust" and their first album when I saw them headline End of the Road festival last month and I was mesmerised with their set. This is a very beautiful maybe even uplifting album, but there is a detectable unease or discomfort in this album I can't quite place here, possibly as a band, a seductive chemistry that makes them all that more interesting.
Wild Beasts are very special and my new favourite band; Present Tense their masterpiece and a modern classic. Highly recommended.
The return of Kendall wonders the Wild Beasts feels like the arrival of spring following months of the torrential deluge, There is a special ingredient about this British band in comparison to their contemporaries that suggests the upper reaches of the Premier league compared to the lower divisions of the crushingly indifferent indie music circulating at present. "Present Tense' is the long awaited fourth album from the Wild Beasts, and it builds on the electronica trend of the last album "Smother". Hayden Thorpe and crew took a decidedly "Kid A" style turn with the latter and abandoned guitars in favour of elegant sweeping synths, combined with deep seductive melodies and sophisticated soundscapes.
Some will argue that the dandy decadent edge of the band has suffered because of this which is probably true, but who is complaining when the music is quite this good. "Present Tense" commences with the single "Wanderlust" a thing of rich beauty, with crunching synths and a typically brilliant opening line "We're decadent beyond our means, with a zeal/We feel the things they'll never feel". Throughout the album, the lyrical content is sharp, witty and often very funny. The vocal duties are as usual shared by Thorpe and the deeper tones of Tom Fleming. His performance on "Daughters" is stunning. It is one of the album's highlights, a sinister and slow piece of electronica that is utterly compelling, although the haunting penultimate track "New Life" is almost its match . This album also includes the bands most commercial moment to date in the lively "A Simple Beautiful Truth" a piece of pop perfection which would not go amiss soundtracking the sun going down on a Mediterranean Isle.
Throughout the quality never dips and the listener can safely be pointed to other songs which will intrigue and compel. Fleming again takes the vocal lead on "Nature Boy" and you sense this is the type of music that James Blake is struggling to make. It is cut from a dark hue and sees Fleming declare "Your only joy, only bliss/Your lady wife around his hips". Thorpe, however, matches ever move not least on the beautiful bubbling closer "Palace" a song that has already been subject in this house to more repeats than "Dad's Army".
"Present Tense" like all Wild Beasts albums reveals its charms with some discretion. On repeated listens this reviewer has also been drawn to "Sweet Spot" which is more like the Wild Beasts of "Two Dancers" comprising dual vocals by Thorpe and Fleming. As ever we forget at our peril the brilliance of the musicians behind the two vocalists Ben Little (guitar, keyboards) and Chris Talbot (drums, vocals) who brilliantly anchor this wonderful music.
First I've ever heard of this band having bought the album following reading a review in a national paper. Do this quite often with varying results but this time it was an out and out winner. Every track is great but the stand out one for me is Mecca, which has got the lot. I can't see that you could ever categorise Wild Beasts nor should we try. They've got their own thing going on and credit to them. Just bought their previous album, Smother, and will now give this a good airing too.
Singer/guitarist Hayden Thorpe and singer/bassist Tom Fleming constitute one damn fine and distinguished songwriting team within the Alternative/Indie genre, and Wild Beasts' fourth full-length release, "Present Tense", is the British band's most ambitious, focused and accomplished album to date (as of 2014). Present Tense could very well be Wild Beasts' "Black Celebration", the album that took Depeche Mode to new heights, both creatively and commercially", with its tales of yearning, lust, and sexual debauchery, and its emphasis on both vintage and modern synth sounds. The album is a joy to listen to from start to finish: the songwriting, musicianship and production, it's all impeccable, and despite the sparse arrangements/instrumentation the songs all sound full-bodied and powerful.
4 VERY TALENTED GUYS from the LAKE DISTRICT produce another GREAT ALBUM !!
'NEW LIFE'; great track and lyrics with Tom Fleming taking the lead, WARM AND BLIND / GROPING IN THE BRINY DEEP, SING LUNGS SING / WORLD CLEAVE OPEN ! I absolutely love this song; so minimal but yet so effective.
'A DOGS LIFE'; I cannot believe these guys came up with this track. Starts off with Tom again and guitar work which just draws you in, the track just builds and builds and then BOOM, after the line 'HOLD THE PHONE UP TO ITS FACE', this track just goes up into the stratosphere ! Completely and utterly one of the best things this band has ever done !!
'MECCA'; a super intro and once again outstanding lyrics 'YEAH, HOW WE FEEL NOW WAS FELT BY THE ANCIENTS', a great line and very poignant. Good vocals from Hayden on this one.
'NATURE BOY'; apparently part inspired by 'JAKE THE SNAKE ROBERTS'. Well he has definitely inspired this track very well as this is just another absolute cracker on this album. 'DRIPPIN IN GOLD HE COMES' / OOOOH YES HE DOES IT ALL' How very apt indeed !
'PREGNANT PAUSE'; this is quite an intimate and moving song between 2 lovebirds and the lyrics again are fantastic, these guys REALLY ARE on another level. 'THERE IS A TONGUE THAT WE SPEAK IN / NO ONE ELSE GOT THE MEANING', 'SPEAK TO ME IN OUR TONGUE' / A PILLOW TALK PATOIS FROM A LAND LONG GONE'. Great vocals again from Hayden and I love the ending of this song
The rest of this album is unmissable; I cannot recommend it enough to all you music lovers out there !
Please give this album a try with an open mind and I hope that you find what I did; A SEMINAL PIECE OF WORK.
These guys are very underrated and this album also; I bought 2 copies of this as I do like physical product and I listen to the songs on a regular basis and don't want the CD getting scratched !
***** Tom / Ben / Chris / Hayden - THANK YOU ! *****