When it comes to staying in the moment, Wild Beasts has it covered with their new album “Present Tense.”
The band has built a positive reputation from producing the melodic atmosphere of a dreamscape. Their success became clear in their 2009 album “Two Dancers,” which was nominated for a Mercury Prize and was mentioned in the 2011 edition of “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.” Wild Beasts’ sounds are based on pop tempos, quick and successive, while the rhythm is ultimately experimental, overtaking and driving.
The album opens with “Wanderlust,” an intro with a rhythmically dark complexion. The entrance of the lead voice, the tenor melody from bassist Hayden Thorpe, begins to lead toward a lighter side falling into a unique falsetto. The drum taps are quick, rhythmic and concise.
All of the instrumentation flourishes and rises, with the synthetic ambiance roaming in the background until the end of the song where it becomes prominent until it fades.
The next track, “Nature Boy,” suggests a familiar, synthetic sound nostalgic of the ‘80s, yet it is distinct and different. The band’s secondary voice, baritone Tom Fleming, creates an altered composition. The tune is a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of Wild Beasts’ unique sound with Thorpe’s backing falsetto, though it carries itself heavily through the air.
The third track, “Mecca,” billows from the air back into the lead of Thorpe’s voice. His voice glides without effort into the flowing of the synthetic rhythm as the guitar plucks in staccato fashion.
The vocals and guitar strike in a synchronous manner as the listener becomes wrapped in sound and driven down a waterfall of rhythm.
Having drifted down the waterside, near drowning in psychedelic sound, the following track floats toward a now distant listener. “Sweet Spot” swims in a round, or what is perhaps best described as a cyclic revolution of swirling sounds, with the resonance of Thorpe’s falsetto. The alteration of voice hits here as Fleming and Thorpe change places, creating a unique toned dynamic. This track thoroughly uses their pop-oriented sound, shaping a catchy melody, which works well through the experimental atmosphere.
The alteration of voice works well enough. The combination offers a sense of melodic fullness — it will satiate the tastes of the listener who salivates for symphonic drink.
The proceeding tracks explore the technical dynamics in sounds “Wild Beast” are able to produce. “Pregnant Pause,” which displays the range of Thorpe’s voice in furious and glorious slow form, writhes in dramatics well.
“A Simple Beautiful Truth” presents the pop exchange of vocal arrangement and elegant fingerings of guitar. “A Dog’s Life” reiterates the deeper notes of what the band can produce. “Past Perfect” and “New Life” advance the intimate and emotional sides through harmony and beautiful discordant background accompaniment.
The final song, “Palace,” emulates the accomplishments of every track. Its haunting low falsettos reverberate and it flows pleasantly into the listener.
“Present Tense” may be purchased on Amazon or iTunes. More information may be found at wild-beasts.co.uk.
Jake Saunders can be reached at jsaunders@ dailyegyptian.com, on Twitter @saundersfj or by phone at 536-3311 ext. 254.