REVIEWS ON THE FLY: Real Estate, Trust, Wild Beasts

Real Estate
Real Estate

In this installment of “mini-reviews,” we check in on the newest albums from Real Estate, Trust, and Wild Beasts.

Real-Estate-608x608

Real Estate | ARTIST

Atlas | ALBUM

Domino | LABEL

4 March 2014 | RELEASE DATE

8.2 | 10

Yeah, I know. Real Estate have been making music in the same vein throughout their career now, which for most bands would signal the death knell (i.e. Band of Horses). But that only tells a fraction of the story when it comes to Real Estate, who continue to defy expectations with their stunning new album Atlas.

Atlas isn’t going to convert the unbelievers, but for those inclined to guitar-based indie rock, this will be a favorite throughout 2014. The variations are slight, but they are there. The layered guitars on “Had to Hear” form a crystallized whole, with the steady drumming of Jackson Pollis serving as the song’s vital pulse. “April’s Song” is a gorgeous instrumental, with some added guitar effects that recall The Shins during their Wincing the Night Away era. While Days remains the band’s best album to date, Atlas is a certifiable winner, proving that a Radiohead-esque transformation doesn’t need to take place for a band to stay at the precipice of the musical landscape.

Trust-Rescue-Mister-608x608

Trust | ARTIST

Joyland | ALBUM

Arts & Crafts | LABEL

4 March 2014 | RELEASE DATE

7.6 | 10

“Rescue, Mister” is one of the best songs released thus far in 2014, an infections synth-pop banger that sounds remarkably fresh in an otherwise stale electronica field. For the most part, Joyland attempts to land on a transcendental sound, and while it sometimes achievs its goal, it mainly ends up falling between the cracks.

Songs such as “Capitol” and the title-track serve as the other defining moments on Joyland, while also leaving the listener to crave for those highs. Because throughout the rest of the album, there’s a certain aimlessness that detracts from the experience. The dark sonics that run rampant throughout the record ultimately muddles Robert Alfons’ vision. When we do get a clear glimpse of his artistic statement, it’s a sight to behold. It would just be nice to see the whole picture.

wildbeasts-608x608

Wild Beasts | ARTIST

Present Tense | ALBUM

Domino | LABEL

25 February 2014 | RELEASE DATE

8.0 | 10

Wild Beasts’ gorgeous new album, Present Tense, continues the band’s string of outstanding works, including 2009’s Two Dancers and Smother (2011). As with their prior releases, the album is held together by the band’s ability to create stirring tension with a slowly processing, methodical delivery, both of the instrumentation and Ian Thorpe’s delicate and vulnerable vocal performances.

The album’s first single (and opening track), “Wanderlust,” is a stunner, with Thorpe directly addressing the upper class in a scathing critique; “In your native tongue, what’s the verb ‘to suck,’” he asks. Ensuing tracks “Mecca” and “Daughters” especially continue the album’s forward momentum, both containing some of the strongest melodies on the album. The back half plays itself a little too safe, not attempting anything particularly out of the ordinary from the band. But for a band like Wild Beasts, there’s not really many better places to be than in the present.

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