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- Wild Beasts »
It is probably easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for Wild Beasts to be pigeonholed. To see a band so gloriously and deliberately esoteric garner such love in the modern era - when the music world seems swamped with careerists and chancers - is not just refreshing, it's practically a miracle. Aside from a small minority of twits twittering, all eyes are fixed on a robust, and at times mesmerising, Wild Beasts.
It's a tricky juxtaposition to navigate, but the band somehow manages to balance preposterous ostentatiousness with grittiness, and they also transcend mere trifling genre boundaries, presenting something that is new, and most importantly unique. Like their Kendal brethren British Sea Power, they are concerned about making music they can enjoy themselves and be proud of, with record sale concerns a long way down the pecking order of priorities. Domino, a label that has tasted so much success of late, deserves a hearty pat on the back for unleashing this wondrous beast, without any guarantees this will do a hundredth of the business Alex Turner does for them.
Hayden Thorpe, perpendicular but for his arched shoulders, stands like a noble purveyor of the ancient code they call the Queensbury Rules. He has a voice so staggering that it will jab you with tenderness one moment, and floor you with a highfalutin hay-maker the next. Stood in braces and sporting a rather dashing fighter pilot's moustache, he emotes with much vigour, belying such ludicrous lyrics as: “I swear by my own cock and balls”. Never has wanton stupidity sounded so delightful.
Not that there's anything stupid about this collective, and certainly not musically. All are clearly accomplished musicians - interchanging positions like Dutch masters, and unusually it appears everyone can sing too. While Thorpe catches the ear, bass player Tom Fleming has a voice any other fledgling band would kill for. It could feel for him like having somebody blow out the candles on his birthday cake, but the band utilise his bountiful larynx, with dandyish duels between him and Thorpe (as well as a couple of solo numbers). Fittingly they end with 'Cheerio Chaps, Cheerio Goodbye', and the finale is genuinely moving. Anybody present who's failed to be stirred is clearly no animal lover.
Vote for Wild Beasts' _Limbo, Panto album in our Pluto Prize_
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