Wild Beasts constantly seems to invent new ways to signify their existence. Closing in on their fourth album, I would say that it’s no less then admirable. Smother saw the band leaving their restive baroque ‘n’ roll for a bare-skinned slowing of pace. It was a move that could potentially have alienated those seeking yet another Two Dancers, but ended up rewarding them with a pile of critical acclaim and their highest charting to date. On “Wanderlust”, their first single in three years, the synthesizers frailly introduced on Smother has matured into the driving mechanisms, while being accompanied by the fiercest drumming this side of “Bloodbuzz Ohio”. “Wanderlust” is gloriously layered, a bit less uncompromising and less stubborn to outside influence, but nothing short of brilliant.
By now I’ve gotten used to, even taken a liking to, Hayden Thorpe’s unusual, operettic falsetto – a voice he seem to have streamlined to perfection over the years. It really shouldn’t work in Wild Beasts otherwise reasonably conformist instrumentation, but somehow it does – and on “Wanderlust” probably more so than ever. Somehow the synthesizers drain out the most uncomfortable traits of Thorpe’s voice, and the result is a marriage that enjoys nearly divine qualities.
We still have to wait and see whether “Wanderlust” is representative of Present Tense, their upcoming full-length with a yet unconfirmed release date, but coming from a band that’s been highly consistent in presenting each of their full-length inside a clearly defined sonical realm, it wouldn’t be all too surprising if it turns out to be the case.