Wild Beasts - Present Tense  - Cover- 2014

WILD BEASTSPresent Tense

01. Wanderlust
02. Nature Boy
03. Mecca
04. Sweet Spot
05. Daughters
06. Pregnant Pause
07. A Simple Beautiful Truth
08. A Dog’s Life
09. Past Perfect
10. New Life
11. Palace

Simple is always the best. Therefore the simplest ist always the hardest. That might be a reason why we had to wait three years for the new WILD BEASTS LP Present Tense to hear. But to anticipate: it was worth the waiting.

The album title already gives a hint about what we are dealing with. Present Tense is all about the here and now. While Smother was shaped by an intimidate mood with a gloomy touch and spheric synthesiser. This piece takes it down a notch. Present Tense is less stormy than Smother and it is quite a radical change overall. The album sounds more electronic, but still the falsetto voices of Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming remain the foundation of every song.

In 2010 they decided to pack and move to London. That decision definitley left some marks musically speaking. here were never that kind of band who needed to stage or perform as mystic artifical characters. They never acted with the intention of blending in and that is exactly what they prove on their fourth album. Being masters in composing delightful melodies, that are beautifully arranged, simple and with a touch of social criticism. Since moving to the city, this home is much more present in their songs. Catching the mystic faint atmosphere from the landscape surrounding Kendal (England), where they used to live, reflects throughout Present Tense.

Sparsley instrumentation and flat synthesiser build the frame of this piece. No more baroque tendencies, no more complex  arrangements. Everything about the album is simple and clean, less structured yet deeply sensual. On Smother they proved to be talented writers, where metaphors were loaded with sexual images. What remains on Present Tense is nothing but lightness.  ‘They’re solemn in their wealth, we’re high in our poverty / We see the things they’ll never see’ (Wanderlust) clarifies what WILD BEASTS have not been famous for yet: precise words, no decoration, simple arrangements. The driving beat next to Thorpes singing shows that they took their composing to the next level, which might be more ‘mainstream’. But the result is eleven wonderful, elegant, plain popsongs. For everyone out there who always gave them a hard time on their complex and melancholy songs could now give it a shot with A Simple Beautiful Truth, which is by far the best popsong they have ever written.

WILD BEASTS have refashioned their music on ‘Present Tense’, not less alluring but powerful and bright. Glouriously layered compositions ready to speak some thruth.

NBHAP Rating: 4/5