The Wombats: Glitterbug

review wombats x1 cong

Time travel does exist: The Wombats are in fact a cheesy 70s disco band stranded in this century.
Shortly after an appearance on Top Of The Pops in 1975, they took a wrong turn and ended up in Dr Who’s Tardis, then found themselves stuck in 2007. Still dressed in Wombat suits and with Peter Powell’s TOTP introduction ringing in their ears, they recognised landfill indie as their natural home, what with 70s disco being so lame and everything.
Using skills honed from writing catchy but forgettable Radio Luxembourg hits, they turned in the album A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation, which proved a hit with sixth-formers and coincided with The Inbetweeners.
Like The Wombats, The Inbetweeners was dumb on the surface but actually quite clever. To be cruel, people liked The Inbetweeners much more, only Dance to Joy Division giving the television show any kind of run for its money.
The Wombats’ tunes appeared in a number of episodes of The Inbetweeners (Kill The Director was in the first episode) along with other bands such as Air Traffic (who the Review Corner was convinced would be massive), Tellison (still going), Ting Tings, Mumm Ra and the band with the dullest name ever, Royworld.
But having made one enjoyably dumb album, The Wombats seem to have run out of steam. Unlike the 70s, the singles chart no longer provides a living for bands who can write a couple of big hits and make a living from that, and the advent of downloads mean that albums featuring a couple of singles and packed out with fillers don’t sell.
Opener Emoticons has a solid drumbeat that really is from a 70s disco hit, probably made by Jonathan King, though the title is more modern. It’s ok. Track two, Give Me A Try is good though, an uplifting if forgettable pop single. Your Body Is A Weapon is the song they’re probably pinning their hopes on, a jaunty tune that’s up there with their best.
Curveballs is quite good too, and a bit atmospheric but an ironic title for a band that don’t throw any.
Glitterbug is not a bad album but any comparisons would include “but not as good as”: it’s a bit Passion Pit in places, just not as good. Even comparing it to earlier Wombats is less than flattering.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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