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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 181 - 06/15/11

Wild Beasts
Domino Records / Playground

Smother is the much anticipated third album from the British art-pop quartet Wild Beasts. It succeeds the astonishing and critically acclaimed Two Dancers (2009). And Smother sure don't disappoint.

I find Wild Beasts to be one of the most interesting band coming from the British alternative scene the last decade. Both their debut Limbo, Panto and the mentioned Two Dancers have a distinct bulging and sensually daring sound, evoked from chiming guitars and vocalist Hayden Thorp's lovely contra-tenor. So also with Smother. But here the guitars has given way for synthesisers and a more delicate electronic soundscape. A direction that becomes them well.

Smother opens with the bold elektro-renaissance-pop of "Lion's Share", that is followed by the consuming dark romance "Bed Of Nails". Then there is the quieter dream-pop-like "Deeper" and "Into The Loop", before it turns more viciously flirtatious in "Plaything". "Invisible" and "Albatross" that follows are both pleasantly slower and caressingly lighter, and interludes nicely the more pulsing "Reach A Bit Further" and the painfully atmospheric "Burning". The closure "End Come To Soon" is seven delightful minutes of pure sensuality.

There might not be any counterpart to the outstanding "We Still Got The Taste Dancin' On Our Tongues" or "Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants " on "Smother". But I can't seem to miss it, hence Smother is such a full album, where the songs compliment each other perfectly. All tunes being personal, quietly brave, romantic and uttermost sexy.

Wild Beats has with Smother delivered a most seductive and beautiful album. An album that gently embraces you, and thereafter will stay close to heart for a very long time.

Copyright © 2011 Aslaug O Klausen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Wild Beasts articles/reviews: Present Tense, Wanderlust.

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