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Wild Beasts - Limbo, Panto

"Limbo, Panto"

02 July 2008, 11:00 Written by Alex Harvey
Wild Beasts are one of the many new bands tipped for the top by the people in the know. Signed to Domino Records and with established producer Tore Johnansson (The Cardigans, Franz Ferdinand) at the helm they must have something about them and Limbo, Panto, their debut offering, is certainly different to what other bands are producing at the moment, but does being different mean it's any good? Well, in this case I think for the most part, does.The main talking point with this band is clearly the voice of lead singer Hayden Thorpe. The falsetto delivery is otherworldly compared to a lot of new bands making headway at the moment; instead think of Sparks' Richard Mael or a hyped-up Antony Hegarty and you'll be a bit closer. If you're not expecting it, it will throw you off-guard completely leaving you with a Marmite situation. Opening track ‘Vigil, for a Fuddy Duddy’ still grates on me but once you're past that initial shock, you can start to see the voice and the music working well together.Ironically, standout track and current single ‘The Devil's Crayon’ is mainly sung by bassist Tom Flemming, though Thorpe chips in as well. Flemming croons his way through a relatively simplistic, perfectly crafted piece of indie-pop. The Old Dog is gorgeous, though the lyrics “we are liberal and we are civil and life is futile” and “a human is hauled from the womb's wired jaw” perhaps point in a different direction, ‘Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants’ is a cheerfully rousing romp and ‘The Club of Fathomless Love’ shows off Thorpe's falsetto, refusing to be reigned in.Wild Beasts are a bold bunch of musicians, unafraid to take risks and explore avenues that others would wince at the thought of going down. ‘Assembly’, the popular early single, was left off of this album, which shows a certain degree of confidence in what they're are doing and so they should have. Thorpe's voice may be a little too near the 'love it or hate it' mark, but once you do embrace it, you won't look back. 82%Links Wild Beasts [official site] [myspace]
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