Wild Beasts Smother

Wild Beasts were winking at us when they gave us a song named “Albatross,” the slow-moving and slinky first single from the band’s third album. Hayden Thorpe’s impossibly pretty falsetto was there, as were the band’s hypnotic, looping drums, but something felt muted, missing. It made you worry for the rest of the record. Listening to all of Smother, those anxieties were valid, but the album works with (not in spite of) these changes. Smother is the subtler, shadowier cousin of Two Dancers, but the resemblance is there, especially when it comes to the sexual depravity that pervaded and perverted both of their previous albums. Look to sparse opener “Lion’s Share” (“I take you in my mouth like the lion takes his game”) for your first taste. Other songs explore this simpler composition style — a few piano/organ/synth notes, glassy pulsing, stumbling looped rhythm. “Reach A Bit Further” and “Loop The Loop” will remind you of Two Dancers, especially the interaction between the vocalists in the former (it’s one thing that’s painfully missing on the rest Smother). Thorpe and co-vocalist Tom Fleming ask you to let them watch you undress, to lie with them, die with them, or at least French for a while in the dirt. That they ask this time in whispers instead of shouts and screams makes it feel that much more sinister.

STEREOGUM EDITORS’ RATING:

STEREOGUM READERS’ RATING:


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Comments (10)
  1. Does this mean it leaked?

  2. for real. dying to hear it.

  3. From the Battles premature evaluation session. “which (as always) is out on the Internet if it’s being Premature Evaluated here”

  4. I have a feeling this is going to be one of my top five favorites of the year, surprised you rated it a 3 and a half though.

  5. yeah, i was really underwhelmed by the single. crossing my fingers for the album

  6. I think “Albatross” is an amazing song. Hope the rest of the album follows its lead.

  7. Albatross is a great song and a more subtle step on from Two Dancers (which is a bloody fantatsic album). I’m hoping Smother continues in the same “missing” vein

  8. Can anyone confirm that it is actually floating around online somewhere? I checked all of my resources, which include some places that are always quick on the draw, to no avail.

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