I’ve found it.
It’s the middle of May and more than a little premature to be making declarations of this sort, but it’s going to take something extremely special to dislodge Wild Beasts‘ new album ‘Smother‘ from its current position at the top of my 2011 pops.
There’s no doubt about it, Wild Beasts are not for everyone. And ‘Smother‘ is for even less people than that; it’s their musically moodiest, lyrically darkest album to date. It’s also by flippin’ far their best.
I read something the other day (possibly a YouTube comment on one of their videos) that proclaimed Wild Beasts to be the most important British band since The Smiths. Considering how much I love The Smiths and how important a band they are to me, I don’t take such statements lightly, but you know what? It’s absolutely bloody right.
There may not be many musical parallels to be drawn between the two bands, but like The Smiths, Wild Beasts forge their own fiercely original path. They genuinely don’t sound like anyone else (although parts of the new albums definitely sound like they’ve been listening to Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden), they’ve got not one, but two vocalists of astounding range and beauty, and their evolution over the course of their three albums has been gobsmacking. From the raw rambunctiousness of ‘Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants‘ to ‘All the King’s Men‘ to ‘Albatross’? Wow.
This album has really crept up on me in recent weeks and I’ve fallen so hard for it over the last 5 or 6 days. A start-to-finish stunner, without a doubt.