UK indie rock outfit Wild Beasts don’t prowl around and roar on stage like their name suggests; instead, they skip about furtively like a tame impala. Present Tense, which marks the quartet’s fourth album, relies heavily on their fascination with the ‘bodily sounds of synthesizers’ and the ‘meditation on existence’, describes frontman Hayden Thorpe, which allows them to tell time-honoured stories with modern methods.
Thorpe compares the making of the new album to the ‘cracking of eggs to make an omelette’ – the eggs being new musical elements the band haven’t before used. ‘Sweet Spot’ is a grand example; it’s as glittering and effervescent as anything on their first album Two Dancers, yet enshrouded in a warm haze. It’s all in line with the band’s prod towards sounding more ‘2014’, Thorbe describes without a hint of irony.
But as this year’s fascination may very well be next year’s faux pas, their gig here (initially as part of Hostess Club Weekender, then brought in by Symmetry Entertainment after the festival got cancelled) becomes an ideal opportunity to catch them in this current chapter of their mercurial story Darren Ng