Wild Beasts, Still Life Still | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Wild Beasts, Still Life Still Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended

When: Thu., Feb. 18, 9 p.m. and Fri., Feb. 19, 10 p.m. 2010

When I first heard Wild Beasts' 2008 debut, Limbo, Panto, I dismissed them as overdramatic Morrissey enthusiasts, trying and failing to wed theatrical vocals to minimalist indie pop the way Antony & the Johnsons can. Consequently last year's Two Dancers (Domino) gathered dust on my desk for months before I felt prepared to brave once again the falsetto of singer Hayden Thorpe, who handles a bit more than half of the band's lead vocals. This time the band's debonair English swagger, which I initially found obnoxious, won me over—I think Thorpe's fascinating, meandering singing must have burrowed into my subconscious and flipped a switch. Brooding and dark, Two Dancers works hard to create its strangely seductive pull: the most dynamic song, "All the King's Men," juxtaposes ominous chants with shrill yelps, and the tenor vocals of Tom Fleming have an under­current of hothouse salaciousness a la Nick Cave. Wild Beasts are an acquired taste, but that second spoonful is worth the trouble. —Kevin Warwick

Price: $15, $13 in advance, 18+

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