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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

We Still Got The Taste Dancin' On Our Tongues

Review of Wild Beasts’ Two Dancers and giveaway

Photo By Tom BeardTom 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

Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos tells BBC that he’s been writing songs. Yeah, that’s all.

Hot Chip have recorded a Surveillance episode for PitchforkTV.

Sky Larkin have a new video from their second album Kaleide, out next week in the UK. North American release (hopefully) still to come.

Video: Sky Larkin – “Still Windmills”

Also with a new video to go with the release of their album is Oxford’s Stornoway, whose Beachcomber’s Windowsill is out today.

Video: Stornoway – “Watching Birds”

The Drums are sharing a track from their self-titled debut, which is out on vinyl on August 10. They’re at the Mod Club on October 20.

MP3: The Drums – “Down By The Water”

School Of Seven Bells have released a first video from Disconnect From Desire for leadoff track “Windstorm”. They’re at the Mod Club on September 15.

Video: School Of Seven Bells – “Windstorm”

By : Frank Yang at 8:31 am
Category: Contests

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RSS Feed for this postOne Response.
  1. Bill Koch says:

    Frank,

    Nice to see that you came around on the Wild Beasts; *Two Dancers* is quite a record and was in my Top 10 of 2009. I do agree with your initial reaction to Thorpe’s falsetto vocal-stylings causing you to pull away as I had the exact same response myself. However, there was just something in the music that kept drawing me back until I eventually found myself unable to comprehend anyone but Thorpe singing. *Two Dancers* is very much what I like a Britpop record to sound like.

    Regards.

    -Bill