THE WOMBATS This Modern Glitch (14th Floor Records)
When the Wombats first emerged from their burrow in 2006 the press couldnt get enough of them. They were hailed as the saviours of indie rock, alongside The Kaiser Chiefs and Maximo Park. With each subsequent release they have fallen a little more out of favour with the press, until this one has garnered some (in my opinion) unfairly poor reviews. At their best they were a good-time indie-pop band, and in songwriter Murph had someone with an ear for a catchy melody and some off the wall lyrics. I reasoned that this album could surely not be as bad as it had been painted so I gave it a try, and I really cant see what they are all complaining about. It is a collection of catchy indie pop songs with quirky lyrics, and so should be right up their street. Our Perfect Disease is a case in point, opening the album with as hook-laden a song as they have ever written. OK, there are some jittering electro beats at the beginning, and this turns out to be a taster for a slightly more electronic feel to some of the songs, but it doesnt detract from the track at all. First single Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) is up next, and should have alerted doubtful fans that this could be a good album, as it The Wombats as the fans would expect to hear them. Perhaps that is the problem with the press they might have expected the band to present us with a totally new direction, but if it aint broke then why even try to fix it. Strings are featured strongly on Anti-D, and they continue throughout the song to impart a suitable gravitas to a brooding song about anti-depressant addiction. Last Night I Dreamt
and 1996 bring back the indie pop with a vengeance, while Techno Fan mixes the pop with some quiet/loud dynamics to become a favourite with the fans. For me Walking Disasters is the first song that I could imagine being on their debut album, and strangely enough it is not one of my favourites. Perhaps that is why I rate this album and others dont This Modern Glitch is a progression from their early work and the band sound more confident and assured here, whereas other people like them when they were a geeky pop band and would prefer an album full of Walking Disasters. The final two tracks Girls/Fast Cars and Schumacher The Champagne round off what is for me a great little indie pop album. Dont be put off by negative reviews, give it a listen and then decide for yourself.