The Wombats
Glitterbug


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
April 10th, 2015 | 79 replies


Release Date: 04/14/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I've been here before... I don't really care & I don’t ever wanna change".

Has any band gone from charming to annoying as swiftly as The Wombats? It’s not entirely clear how this occurred, although it may have something to do with the Liverpudlians appearing on every single type of music festival. But since when has frequent touring been a negative trait? Or maybe it’s because the indie-pop act were a little late to the party and ultimately rather derivative. Then again, they have also outlasted many of their peers. Could it possibly be due to the immense distance between the trio’s best and worst tunes? Or is that just proof that their top tracks are very very good. Possibly the most popular explanation is that the band stagnate with their want to simply refine their basic formula. Who knows… but one thing’s for certain: Third LP ‘Glitterbug’ won’t do anything to change anyone’s opinion of The Wombats.

Having previously released infectious hits such as ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ and ‘Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)’, the top end of ‘Glitterbug’ does not reach such stratospheric heights. Singles ‘Your Body is a Weapon’ (released eighteen months ago), ‘Greek Tragedy’ and ‘Give Me a Try’ are catchy and satisfying in the moment, but their chart failure is especially telling. This trio of tracks plus opener ‘Emoticons’ and ‘Be Your Shadow’ are interchangeable and set down the template for the album, with synth-driven pop-rock melodies being the order of the day. Anything that strays from this formula – clubby lightweight ‘This Is Not a Party’ and sparse ballad ‘Isabel’ – do not necessarily enhance the listening experience, although it is noteworthy that the bottom of the ‘Glitterbug’ barrel is not as low as its two predecessors.

Co-producer Mark Crew (Bastille, Fantasma) has polished up The Wombats’ sound as one would expect, with the mix of synths and organic instrumentation actually finding a nice balance. ‘Glitterbug’ is pleasant enough and far from a chore to listen to, even if it feels too safe and inoffensive to warrant repeated listening. It’s almost as if the undoubted 80s worshipping of bands such as Simple Minds and Tears For Fears needed to be even more shameless to evoke a greater response. Possibly the most disappointing aspect of the album is that witty lyrics – once such a selling point for the band - are rare here, with lead vocalist Matthew Murphy’s shift to Los Angeles not really adding a great deal of original content. On ‘Emoticons’, Murphy claims that “It’s tough to feign indifference”… He better hope that’s what people are actually doing when listening to ‘Glitterbug’, because that surely would be preferable to genuine indifference.

Recommended Tracks: Give Me a Try, Your Body Is a Weapon & Emoticons.




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user ratings (50)
Chart.
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Had to do a couple of rewrites on this review, as it was tricky to match the words to the rating. Hopefully it reads a little more like a 3 star review now, not the 2 - 2.5 star review it initially felt like.



Almost fell off my chair when I saw that Pitchfork had even reviewed this, let alone granted it a pass mark (5.7 / 10)!



MattTD
April 10th 2015


678 Comments


I liked these guys a lot back when they released This Modern Glitch, will maybe check this out so I can be a moody 14 year-old again.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Man, I just realised that 'This Modern Glitch' was released some 4 years ago.



I preferred their debut myself. Compared to 'This Modern Glitch', this LP is less electronic and more consistent... But that latter fact means the highlights don't reach the same heights as Tokyo, Jump Into the Fog, etc...

henryChinaski
April 10th 2015


3860 Comments


I have to say: I totally forgot about these guys. Never listened to a single song from their second LP and I only remember Moving To New York (which was great) and Party In A Forest from their debut. While I'm currently listening to this I get the feeling that all these synth/keyboard elements don't really fit in with their overall style. Kinda sounds like Moving To New York with keyboards. Cool artwork though. Nice review too!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

4 years between albums will do that to you hC. If you think this album is too synth-heavy, you're lucky that you didn't listen to their 2nd LP.



And yes, I like the artwork too.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


8410 Comments


i had to stop wearing my joy division shirt to uni because people kept coming up to me and telling me how much they loved the wombats.



all round fucking atrocious band, top writeup though david!!

Digging: Zola Jesus - Okovi

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

LOL x2 Arcade. Did you switch it to a Ramones t-shirt and set a trend?

Sanders
April 10th 2015


2410 Comments


I'm enjoying this a surprising amount, it's a decent album to chuck on in the car when it's sunny on the way back from work

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agreed Sanders. It was kinda tricky to review because it's easy to pick it apart... But it's enjoyable enough.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


8410 Comments


nah switched it to an arctic monkeys shirt so i could get laid lol

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Such an indie hipster... whatever that means.

henryChinaski
April 10th 2015


3860 Comments


So, what's the meaning of a Wombats shirt then?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"So, what's the meaning of a Wombats shirt then?"

I've been to a lot of music festivals.



Seriously, I've seen these guys on a rock festival, an indie festival, a pop festival and an all-out dance festival.

Pheromone
April 10th 2015


5254 Comments


Enjoyed the debut but they get boring fast. They're quite bloody good live though.

Digging: Thingy - Songs About Angels Evil And Running Around On Fire

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As many festivals as they play, I've never got the chance to see them live.

MrPushkin
April 11th 2015


11 Comments


I could only ever get into their second album and the singles from this and the first. Everything else was just kinda meh.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You're probably in the minority thinking that their 2nd album is the best (if that's what you are suggesting). But yes, they're very much a singles band. My summary for their 2nd LP was something like "They will release a great 'Best Of' compilation one day".

Tunaboy45
April 12th 2015


15496 Comments


I'd forgotten about this band

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast

NorthernSkylark
April 12th 2015


8654 Comments


horrible band name too

Digging: Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, it has been 4 years between albums TunaBoy.



Hey NorthernSkylark, you leave Australian marsupials alone. ;-)



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