[sic] Magazine

Wild Beasts – Two Dancers

Oh, what it is to be down with the trend-setters, those who loll around laconically, no doubt pretending to understand Kafka, whilst enjoying the latest blog-approved phenomenon through no-doubt-bespoke earpieces. So far, so Animal Collective / Grizzly Bear. Completing the critics’ trinity of lyrical wax is the Dirty Projectors much-lauded Bitte Orca with its strict avoidance of a tune and peculiar time signatures.

Cue Wild Beasts, who clearly liked what they heard in the Projector’s catalogue, yet thought they could do better by adding some of those elusive tunes.. Wild Beasts are eccentric rather than wilfully trendy, the latter merely a handy by-product. The operatic falsetto of their debut, Limbo, Panto, still roams with abandon, but otherwise Two Dancers causes strong bouts of wishing to locate a cocked hat in which to place that debut.

The first part of the title track (it is split (I) and (II), curiously the second part first) is tinglingly atmospheric, taking Wild Beasts’ du-jour drumming and musical laissez-faire and twinning it with menacing gloom, haunting backing vocals and that trademark soprano. Part (I) comes back-to-back with the astonishing ‘We Still Got The Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues’, a more world-beat affair set to hand-drummed funk with the gentlest of Talking Heads influence. ‘All The King’s Men’ is infectious enough alt-pop to resuscitate Humpty Dumpty after his great fall.

These heights are not reached again but that is like trying to blame lesser peaks in a snow-capped mountain range for not being quite as glorious as the centrepiece summit. There is a charming coherency to Two Dancers, the lower octave vocal harmonies support the flamboyant and wobbly lead. The swayingly danceable rhythms flirt with cadent song-craft. Piano, woodblock percussion and theatrical, Hegarty-like dalliances all combine with enviable ease to create a fluidity and sense of natural progression. Two Dancers is so cohesive in fact as to suggest only one.