It's hard to believe that it's been nearly 3 years since the excellent Smother but Wild Beasts are back with the equally wonderful and wondrous Present Tense.
I should admit that I've had a review copy of this for almost a month and somehow I didn't get around to it until the NME spread on the band. I feel ashamed of myself now because Present Tense is a lovely and affecting record full of warm textures. Wild Beasts have expanded their sound and those reviews that compare them to Talk Talk now seem right on the money. "Wanderlust" and "Mecca" recall not only Talk Talk but other bands of an earlier era who used synths to create human music.
Tunes like "Sweet Spot" bring to mind The Blue Nile and even Japan. The record, centered around lead singer Hayden Thorpe's croon -- is there any other word for his voice? -- is holistically a thing of beauty. If there is not a huge variety of styles here at least Wild Beasts are the master of the ones they have tried their hands at. Of a piece, Present Tense coos and throbs and fills the ears with lushness.
For that, it's to be cherished and praised.
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