Wild Beasts reunited

WILD Beasts couldn't be from anywhere else but Britain.

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You only have to listen to a few notes of their music to realise as much.

The places they namecheck in their lyrics and the eclectic nature of their songs give them away.

Few bands would mention the towns of Rodean, Shipley, Hounslow and Whitby in a whole career, let alone in one song, as Wild Beasts did in their breakthrough single All The King's Men.

The accent with which singers Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming deliver those lyrics are defiantly English, too. In a musical landscape increasingly populated by mid-Atlantic twangs, no matter the origin of the singer, the Kendal band stand out now even more than they did when they released their debut album Limbo, Panto, back in 2008.

It shouldn't be such a big deal, but what started out for the four-piece (who are all in their late 20s) as merely the way they did things has, as their career's progressed, become something of a talking point. Wanderlust, the first single from their new album Present Tense, even deals with the subject.

If their band is to succeed, Present Tense is certainly their best chance yet.

The fact they've made four albums - the second of which was nominated for the Mercury Prize and the most-recent charted at No10 - means they're not doing too badly as it is, but there really is something special about this latest record.

While their first three were written and recorded in relatively short succession with mammoth tours in between, they decided to take a break before starting work on what would become Present Tense.

After touring throughout 2011 in support of third album Smother, they played only eight or nine shows the following year and saw very little of each other.

Each band member did their own thing for a few months, although when asked, it sounds as if they were twiddling their thumbs and eager to get back to making music.

Guitarist Ben Little, for example, worked his way through one of Paul Hollywood's recipe books, admitting: "I baked a lot of bread. A lot.

"We just met up for the shows and it was lovely," says drummer and chattiest Wild Beast Chris Talbot, or Bert as he's known in the band. "Don't get me wrong, we get on amazingly, but you can tire of one another after two years together, every day."

They worked out that they had enough money in the band's shared bank account to live for a year and concentrate solely on writing.

They did so separately, meeting first in August 2012 in the rehearsal room they hired for a show-and-tell session, where they played each other everything they'd managed to come up with.

Then they went away again and carried on writing, conscious that their time off meant that whatever their fourth album was to become, it had to be, in Fleming's words, "an aesthetic turning point".

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