Wild Beasts: Present Tense

wild beastsWild Beasts
Present Tense
(Domino Records)

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Though I have all of their albums, I must admit that Wild Beasts are still something of a mystery to me. The music on Present Tense is just as dreamy as ever, and I love the way the vocals seem to complement the music. However, Present Tense is a much more electronic, aggressive record than its predecessors.

Not that Wild Beasts care what you think. “Don’t confuse me with someone who gives a fuck” is a line repeated throughout “Wanderlust,” and it is a clever mission statement to appear in the album’s first track. No matter how you feel about the band’s music, you have to respect the intelligence suffused in their work. “Pregnant Pause,” for instance, builds around a simple instrumental part and vocals until a well-timed pause gives way to rich, dynamic layers.

The moments that Present Tense loses me are when things get darker. The lyrics to “Daughters” (such as “where my daughter passes only ruins remain”) were so creepy that I couldn’t focus on enjoying the song. There aren’t many of these moments on the album, but as a matter of taste, they feel out of place with Wild Beasts’ usual, dreamy sound.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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