Review Summary: This Modern Glitch illustrates a band making no strident steps towards showing they can write enough interesting material to fill a whole album and ultimately displays the last significance of a band quickly running out of ideas.
As the essential staple of any aspiring indie-pop group, catchy tunes can often seem easier to manufacture than they really are. Often a criminally overlooked commodity, these are a key connective factor between acclaimed superstars and ambitious beginners alike, and often facilitate the embryonic connectivity with prospective listeners that can make or break a band’s success. Though wildly inconsistent and at times unbearably bad, The Wombats 2007 debut album, A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation
, contained enough pizzazz in the form of instantaneously catchy hooks that many of its flaws could be forgotten. Commercially and critically the album was a success, although the lingering sense of discontent and excessive amounts of filler detracted from a full on British media hype-fest. This relative lack of publicity following the album allowed The Wombats to remain under the radar and disappear into artistic oblivion.
Enter This Modern Glitch
On the face of it, not an awful lot has happened in the four years since the release of …Love, Loss & Desperation
; indeed, The Wombats don’t seem to have learnt an awful lot in their obscurity. The release of lead single Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)
a full seven months prior to the album’s release would hint towards an extended advertising campaign aimed at thrusting The Wombats back into the public’s imagination. Somewhere along the line however, this self-promotion failed to materialize, a feat that can be prescribed to one dominant element: Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)
sounds too similar to everything the band has accomplished to date. The mischievous, tounge-in-cheek dialogues of The Arctic Monkeys have still yet to be replicated and the dance-pop revolution led by The Killers and their contemporaries has since become all but irrelevant in the modern indie scene, leaving The Wombats, through no fault of their own, in an artistic no man’s land.
Elsewhere, the band’s propensity to stay safe within the confines of their limited comfort zone and refuse to progress upon their basic formula impedes on the prolonged impact or enjoyment that the songs may have possessed on an individual basis. While …Love, Loss & Desperation
may have frequently blown hot-and-cold, it did at least attempt to show an inclination towards progression; My First Wedding
displayed quirky off-beat guitar riffs and unusually attention-grabbing percussion to further the sound perfected on singles such as Kill The Director
and whilst awful Party In a Forest (Where’s Laura)
contributed a lo-fi aesthetic to the album. This Modern Glitch
shows none of these traits, and persistently sticks to the same tiresome structure throughout the album’s forty minute entirety.
The band exhibit yet more signs of stagnation in their one-time standout commodity, lyrics. Periodic displays of competency are off-set by extended passages of utterly aimless drivel such as the appalling Anti-D
; “Please allow me to be your anti-depressant/I too am prescribed as freely as any decongestant” and the flat Walking Disaster
; “if these words won't drop from your lips/I will be your Freudian slip”. The long-term effects of such idleness within both a song writing and lyrical capacity are that the album fails to get into any sort of rhythm before becoming uninteresting, repetitive, and utterly lifeless. The lyrical talent and pop-sensibilities taken for granted on the band’s debut seem to have eluded The Wombats on this occasion, and the poor choice of singles indicates that the band are unwilling to venture outside their comfort zone. This Modern Glitch
illustrates a band making no strident steps towards showing they can write enough interesting material to fill a whole album and ultimately displays the last significance of a band quickly running out of ideas.
Overall 2.0 Poor