Wild Beasts – Limbo, Panto (CD)

This debut recording, from the introduction that Wild Beasts give listeners with their “Vigil For a Fuddy Duddy”, is one of the best ways to get to know a band that I have ever heard. Where it seems that a number of bands start off slowly and gradually introduce potential fans to the band’s mystique, the Wild Beasts lay everything out on the table from the get-go. What the band does through the entirety of “Limbo, Panto” is create a brand of indie rock that shines and soars beyond the vast majority of music being created by bands in the genre. Nowhere is this better shown during the bouncy, eighties-looking “The Devil’s Crayon”.

What is best about Wild Beasts is that each piece of the band is versatile enough to do a host of things, rather than be circumscribed by a small amount of duties. During that aforementioned “The Devil’s Crayon”, the vocals further a specific narrative while providing another bit of harmony to an already-rich backdrop created by the rest of the band. “The Old Dog” is the feel-good track on the disc, bringing back the halcyon days of the seventies.

The falsetto tones of Thorpe meshes with the slightly funk-inspired compositions of the band brings fans out of the woodwork, whether they fancied the earlier style or just glommed onto the Wild Beasts’ extrapolation of the style as evidenced here. “His Grinning Skull” changes things up to provide listeners with the momentum that is necessary to keep with the rest of the disc, while Hayden’s vocals take on a Bowie-esque one. The resulting tone is a fancy bit of rock that has just a hint of Neil Young’s “Trans” playing at the periphery. What the Wild Beasts do during here is save indie rock from boredom; their unique style is what I will be playing in my stereo for months to come.

Top Tracks: The Old Dog, The Club of Fathomless Love

Rating: 8.4/10

Wild Beasts – Limbo, Panto / 2008 Domino / 10 Tracks / http://www.limbo-panto.com

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