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The Wombats Proudly Present...This Modern Glitch

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Album Review

The Wombats' 2011 sophomore effort, This Modern Glitch finds the gleefully cynical Brit trio delivering a batch of catchy, immediately memorable dance-rock tracks the likes of which haven't been heard since the glory days of Blur and '90s Cool Britannia. Mixing the literate, biting social critique of Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner with Blur frontman Damon Albarn's jaded eye for ennui in the modern world, the Wombats have crafted their own would-be classic 21st century masterpiece. Frontman Matthew Murphy, an avowed skewer of pop culture trends since 2007's A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation, retains his humorously cynical yet wide-eyed lyrical gaze, which brings to mind both Peter Sellers' and Ray Davies' personas of comedic intellectuals relenting to the debauched party atmosphere around them, which they don't quite approve of but can no longer ignore. The sentiment is perhaps best expressed on the delirious, revelatory anthem "Techno Fan," in which Murphy, despite the music not being to his taste, screams to the girl who invited him out to the club, "Shut up and move with me, move with me or get out of my face." Similarly, tracks like the driving post-punk disco cut "Tokyo (Vampires and Werewolves)" and deliciously bleak "Jump into the Fog" are grand statements of Pyrrhic, drunken escape from the pressures of modern life, with Murphy crooning on "Tokyo," "Finally! I know what it takes/It takes money and aeroplanes." He pushes the notion further on the brilliantly melodic, ennui-ridden baroque pop ballad "Anti-D," in which Blur's "karaoke songs" from "The Universal" have been replaced by the Wombats' own songs, which are better than "citalopram" and "to be prescribed as freely as any decongestants." The song, like the rest This Modern Glitch, makes the case for the Wombats as both rock stars and fools in their own pop star sitcom.

Customer Reviews

so happy

I wanted this cd so bad that I shipped it from the UK to Canada

Great Band

This band deserves every penny they get. They actually make good music unlike Nicki Minaj or Pitbull. Keep up the good work!!

A worthy follow-up, and a step forward

I've given this album four days to start to sink in (over multiple listens). We were big fans of "A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation," and this is every bit as good, but in a slightly different way.

The synth has been turned up in the mix, and the guitars turned down slightly, but the melodies and hooks remain as infectious as ever. The lyrics are a bit more serious and mature; as much as I loved the first album's wackiness, this one has a bit more depth.

That's not to say there isn't plenty of unabashed fun to be had here. My favourite track so far, "Techno Fan," is pure pop joy. And Matthew Murphy's wonderfully distinctive lead vocals are on display throughout (with great backing vocals from his two bandmates).

This album promises to be on high rotation in my iPod this summer.

Biography

Formed: 2003 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

British indie rock trio the Wombats make driving guitar post-punk and electronic-influenced pop. Formed in Liverpool in 2003 while the members were all attending the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, the Wombats feature vocalist/guitarist Matthew Murphy, drummer Dan Haggis, and Norwegian-born bassist Tord Øverland-Knudsen. In 2006, the Wombats released their debut single, the Japan-only "Girls, Boys and Marsupials." Several singles followed before the release of the band's 2007 debut album,...
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The Wombats Proudly Present...This Modern Glitch, The Wombats
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