Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

Paul Cook 01/08/2009

Rating: 4.5/5

Just as the wonderfully floating Limbo, Panto did with such ease and elegance, Two Dancers, the sophomore effort from Kendal-based Wild Beasts is an album of shining highs and deeply contemplative lows. Soaring falsetto vocals from Hayden Thorpe are layered upon the rich, atmospheric tones of echoing keys, playful riffs and powerfully moving drum beats.

Thankfully none of the innovation and passion that made me fall in love with this band has been lost. Wild Beasts' charm and individuality is evident in each and every track. Kicking off with the gentle, melancholic The Fun Powder Plot, which seems almost like a bridge from Limbo, Panto to Two Dancers it soon progresses into the first single from the album Hooting and Howling which builds continuously into the exciting lyricism and moody ambience that we've come to expect from the band.

All The King's Men employs a heavier drum beat to give the track a real punch from the start, amidst the more delicate piano and string tones. Both choral backing vocals from Tom Fleming and buoyant yelps from Thorpe showcase the vocal range the band possess. Whilst it isn't as instantaneously catchy as The Devil's Crayon it is still one of the album's defining tracks.

Chris Talbot's drumming then comes into it's own in the middle section of the album, fantastically sharp on tracks We've Still Got the Taste…” and Two Dancers (i). Furthermore the layering of the echoing piano keys and guitar lines over Talbot's deep, brooding drums is thoroughly captivating. This is Our Lot then swings the mood from buoyant and epic to uplifting, lead purely by the power and grace of Hayden Thorpe's stunning voice.

Unfortunately the album does tail off slightly at the end, the final two tracks a tad dull if there is too be any criticism of the album at all. The Empty Nest is very much like Cheerio Chaps, bidding farewell to the listener solemnly. Two Dancers is another sublime step forward for Wild Beasts, one that might hopefully bring them much more deserved appreciation.

Two Dancers is released Monday 3rd August on Domino Records