Review: Glitterbug - The Wombats
James Gilmore gets his hands on the highly anticipated new release from The Wombats.
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The Wombats cemented their ground in British indie musical culture in 2011 with the release of their second album, “This Modern Glitch” following 2007’s “A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation” which spawned hit singles “Kill the Director”, “Moving to New York” and “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” which are still getting airplay today. Having gotten over the awkward second album, The Wombats have returned with a new album that spurts out more wit and jam than they ever have before.
The album seems to follow the difficulties of relationships through a series of melodic tunes. No track sounds the same, but every one has the classic Wombats stamp of lyrical humour and unforgiving guitar riffs.
A perfect example of this lyrics genius comes in the opening with the melodic ‘Emoticons’ which seems to talk about the struggles the singer is facing with his lover. Starting off brash, they sing about how difficult it is to “stay objective… with your tongue abseiling down my neck”.
This kind of out-there language to hide real problems becomes a recurring theme in the album but, if anything, it makes the songs vague enough for anybody to relate to, whilst also making them unique. It’s a tremendous formula but it does get used a little too much through-out.
“Glitterbug” is really an album you need to give a chance. Perhaps track listing wasn’t done perfectly (the first three tracks have similar beats and grooves) but if you listen to the album in its entirety, nonstop, then you can really appreciate it as a clever, thought-through approach to indie-disco.
‘Isabel’ – the four-piece’s attempt at a slow, heartfelt tune – should also be commended as a great track, although it does delve into tiresome territory quite quickly. Luckily, the band pick up quickly with the fan favourite ‘Your Body Is a Weapon’ which was released as a single in 2013.
The real stand-out tracks on this release are ‘Emoticons’, ‘Your Body Is a Weapon’, ‘Greek Tragedy’ and I find the desire to like ‘The English Summer’ and ‘Pink Lemonade’ which are much closer to the band’s post-punk vibes they made their name with.
The release won’t be for everyone, but it’s shown that The Wombat’s can produce a well thought through and varied album in-and-out of their busy live schedule. If one thing is for sure, it has secured The Wombats as a major indie influence in British culture.