Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
We Still Got The Taste Dancin' On Our Tongues
Review of Wild Beasts’ Two Dancers and giveaway
Tom BeardMy first listen to Wild Beasts’ 2009 release Two Dancers didn’t go so well. The English quartet’s most distinctive feature – Hayden Thorpe’s otherworldly falsetto – comes on so strong that for the unprepared, such as myself, it can be disorienting to experience and my first instinct was to simply back away. It was like stepping into a dense jungle, in this case the dark and shimmering aural backdrop of Wild Beasts’ musicianship and before fully acclimating, being unexpectedly divebombed by a magnificent but terrifying bird that you can barely glimpse but certainly feel, particularly as you know it’s always watching you. Always watching.
If those terms sound more favourable than you’d expect given my opening sentence, that’s because after that initial retreat – and yes, motivated by the record’s Mercury Prize nomination – I revisited Two Dancers with Thorpe’s vocal range (and willingness to use said vocal range) more of a known quantity, was able to take the record in as a whole. And, as those who’ve been singing its praises since its release a year ago knew, it’s some piece of work. It’s as rich and sensual as rock music comes, and yet for all the implied lushness it’s almost ascetically lean in its construction at points. Equal parts glamorous and seedy, it may take some listens and patience to get into – at least it did for me – but the persistence is worth it.
Wild Beasts are set to undertake a short North American tour this week, and to coincide with it, they’re not only releasing a special 10″ single for “We Still Got The Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues” but are making the tracks available to download for free, for one week until August 9 – coincidentally, the date that Wild Beasts are going to be at the Mod Club in Toronto. Tickets for that show are $19.50 in advance but courtesy of Domino and Collective Concerts, I’ve got two pairs of passes to the show and one copy of said 10″ to give away, which will be bundled with one of the pairs of passes. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want Wild Beasts” in the subject line and if you are of the vinyl collecting persuasion, your full name and mailing address in the body and if you are not and just want a shot at the passes, your full name. Contest closes at midnight, August 5.
MP3: Wild Beasts – “All The King’s Men”
Video: Wild Beasts – “We Still Got The Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues”
Video: Wild Beasts – “Hooting & Howling”
Video: Wild Beasts – “All The King’s Men”
MySpace: Wild Beasts
Video: Stornoway – “Watching Birds”