Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

by Hiro Master Rating:8.5 Release Date:2014-05-31

There was an early danger with Wild Beasts that the novelty factor would overwhelm them, that Hayden Thorpe's resounding falsetto might tip them the wrong side of burlesque. With 2008's, Limbo, Panto, the Kendal four-piece threatened to enter an inescapable world of farce. Two Dancers, however, resolutely changed all that.

Thorpe's vocals were reined in this time. Rather than letting him take over again, the band pitted Thorpe against Tom Fleming's more low-key baritone. The result was a triumphant battle of mis-matched machismo. Whereas once only Thorpe stood out, Two Dancers gave Fleming's tracks a chance to compete, with 'All the King's Men' and 'Two Dancers' eclipsing any of the Thorpe-led tracks as highlights. It was this vocal duelling that brought the album to life. The two huge personalities jostling for position as they sung songs of ardent masculinity resulted in a bold album rich with bravado.

From the start, Two Dancers meant business. 'The Fun Powder Plot' was a superb opener, with an intricate bass line building alongside equally compelling drums. It introduced you to a new, more refined outfit, but reassured you that the band had retained their edge. Wild Beasts had found a sound that was instantly recognisable and easily loveable. Here was a serious rock album, deliciously laced with a touch of the absurd.

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