Wild Beasts Two Dancers

Wild Beasts Two Dancers

That a band make a better sophomore album than a debut in this age is almost impossible. But English outfit Wild Beasts have done it, as well as earned their buzz on Two Dancers, rather than last year's greatly unappreciated debut, Limbo Panto. Of course, there's a reason for all of this. Two Dancers takes the "far-reaching art school weirdoes" label they earned and redefines the band as accomplished artists that can actually outstrip their singer's flamboyant cadence. Hayden Thorpe's operatic vocals, however, really do grow on you, and it has much to do with his band's harmonizing arrangements. "The Fun Powder Plot" wastes little time proving this, instating polyrhythms and caressing guitars that evoke the stunning grace of Mark Hollis. The two-part title track also presents some riveting work, playing perpetual arpeggios amidst erratic percussion and Thorpe's sexually charged lyrics. But it's not all difficult. "All The King's Men," for example, is a buoyant, jangly pop song beset with eager rhythms and backing singers who sound like the Wicked Witch's henchmen. Some of the delirium over label-mates Dirty Projectors in 2009 needs to be directed towards Wild Beasts, because they've made an album just as elaborate, challenging and rewarding. (Domino)