The Wombats … proudly present … “This Modern Glitch”
Triumphant return would be rather strong terminology, best suited to a PR driven press release tagline, but as a second Australian tour within half a year attests, Liverpool trio The Wombats have scored considerable success and radio airplay with second album “This Modern Glitch”.
No longer reliant on pushing their Paul McCartney art college credits, the boys can now hold their own with a less self conscious and more mature record.
While debut album … “A Guide to Love Loss and Desperation” piqued interest and that Joy Division song was a huge, catchy single transforming personal loss and introspection into an everyman anthem, the discerning listener might’ve noticed the inexperience and ensuring blandness of the album as a whole. Amidst the hype, critical backlash ensued, including an off-the-cuff negative swipe in comparison to fellow British music contemporaries dissected on Qtrax.net.au, by a contributor who shall remain nameless, but is in fact currently reviewing them in rather glowing terms.
The suitably layered intro and driving chorus of opening track ‘Our Perfect Disease’ sets the mood superbly and all the singles – which are half the album – are winners: ‘Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)’, ‘Jump Into the Fog’, and the seemingly incongruent rock-ness of ‘Techno Fan’. The epic symphony of ‘Anti D’’s aptly sweeping grandeur of melancholy transformed into hope is a gem (unfortunately the synthesisers in the live version don’t do the emotive song justice and it’s been largely ignored on radio in favour of the aforementioned tracks).
So it would follow, conversely, the album tracks aren’t as strong (‘Schumaker the Champagne’, ‘Girls/Fast Cars’) etc don’t make the grade in comparison, but as padding they don’t necessarily warrant the skip button either. And there’s often a quirky line to keep you interested, or amused, or slightly perplexed, eg ‘Last Night I Dreamt…’ ‘s “apart from when I lost my virginity, I’ve never been known to frighten easily….”. Now, I don’t pretend I get it, but I’m entertained by such lines nonetheless.
While Let’s Dance to Joy Division’s still the concert encore track of choice, the band now have a larger catalogue of songs that can contend for the title of audience favourite. Building their live following with extensive touring in support of this release, as well as growing industry cred, “Modern Glitch” is brimming with energy and passion. The band sounds like they’re enjoying themselves, so we should too. Lots of fun.