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One of my favorite albums of all time, I only really discovered this last year after hearing a few of the singles and thinking the band showed a lot of potential with some very clever and catchy numbers! Like a much more wittier version of The Artic Monkeys, The Wombats debut is literally laced with dark humour to the point that it is bursting at the seams and there is not a single song on here that I do not like making this something of a rarity!
The album opens with Tales of Girls, Boys and Marsupials; a barber shop number that feels a little out of place and left me, the first time I played this, with a sense of trepidation of what I might have let myself in for! Thankfully this soon breaks into what must be their biggest hit, Kill The Director and things rapidly start looking up! With simple lyrics that are easy to remember and sing a long to, this track is a fine example of just what this band are made of and sets the scene perfectly for what is to follow!
Moving To New York, another single, comes next and is perhaps my least favourite track of the album despite following the trend begun with Director and being a quietly confident indie hit. This is another catchy number that is easy on the ear and one that helps this band stand out from the crowd in a genre that at times feels almost flooded!
Lost In The Post is the fourth track and again is an addictively catching number that leads into Party in a Forest [Where's Laura?] which is one of my three absolute favourites on this album!
School Uniforms comes next and brings back memories of Madness both in content and style before leading into the slightly more dour, Here Comes The Anxiety. Even here though, the lyrics are very tongue-in-cheek and this is a song that is obviously not meant to be taken too seriously!
Let's Dance To Joy Division ups the tempo with its nod and acknowledgement of bands such as New Order and of course, Joy Division and centres around a big night out clubbing in Liverpool after masny years away. This is without question my second most favourite song of theirs and really gets me going and in the right frame of mind!
Backfire At The Disco is a witty tale of the consequences of a date gone wrong detailing exactly where the lead singer frakked up and what happened when he opened his mouth and said entirely the wrong thing! Again this is a fine example of the humour that flows right through this album and is a great little number!
Finally we get my number one favourite on this album which is Little Miss Pipedream; a song all about unrequited love and about watching his dream girl from afar, knowing that the singer will never ever get round to approaching her! Words cannot describe how much I love this song which I have adopted as an anthem for my life!
The last three songs are Dr Suzanne Mattox PhD, Patricia The Stripper ("Patriccccia..the stripppppper, you were always mine...., so why won't you come home with me tonight?") and My First Wedding (a Hidden Track) that brings proceedings to a very tidy close.
Casn there be a better Indie album than this? I don't think so! The Wombats are an amazing group and this is an album that you really really REALLY need to have in your collection!!! Words cannot do this justice!
It's rare that you come across an album that kicks off with an acapella, reminiscent of 50's barbershop music. It's even rarer that this tune will sound fresh and fun, forget "New Rave" and whatever it is that is happening now, "New Barbershop" anyone?
This quirky opener really sums up the rest of the album, "tales of girls, and boys, and marsupials!" the Liverpool lads squeal in happy harmony, and they have let us in on the lyrical topics we can expect. Well, aside from the marsupials part, although, they are "The Wombats". Teenage anecdotes of failed romance, unrequited love and a sprinkling of silliness on top.
The bouncy, indie guitar songs this three piece deliver are all as catchy as lead single "Let's Dance To Joy Division", after a good listen to the album you'll find yourself humming the tunes and sprouting the words. This of course is a testament to the superb song writing of this album.
Singer Matt's voice quivers and cracks throughout this album with seemingly genuine emotion (despite the witty lines he comes out with), sounding at times on the verge of breaking down any minute. The music itself, pop punky in nature with distorted guitars rattling around, cannot really be placed into one genre, there are the indie moments but equally there are the beatlesy catchy chirpy tunes moments, doused in harmonised backing vocals.
You shouldn't expect any five minute epics from this album. Amongst the Radioheads, Editors and Interpols who take themselves so seriously it's actually quite refreshing to find a band prepared to have a bit of fun at their own expense and dish out 3 minute chunks of pop goodness. The closest you'll get to something really serious on this album is the self proclaimed "dark" song, "Here Comes The Anxiety" where lead singer Murph tries to distinguish this track from, the fun and games from the offset with lyrics such as "No hint of a smile, or the usual quirky anecdote" But despite all this these lyrics perch upon quite an upbeat and addictive backing, peppered with the bands trademark "ooh"s and "aah"s.
Stand out tracks on this album would be the well picked singles "Kill The Director" and "Let's Dance To Joy Division" and also the equally fun and easy to get stuck in your head "School Uniforms" and the longest track on the album "Little Miss Pipedream" with more "ooh"s than you can shake a rhythm stick at, toy keyboards and superb melody and lyrics this song would be my personal favourite.
Overall this album is not big, and its not particularly clever either, but boy is it fun to listen to.
The Wombats. My word how far they've managed to come in a year or so. I was onto them a while ago, gutted they were touring asia and not Britain, but it looks to have done them good- they managed to get a really good following out their with the album released out their, and have easily managed to transfer this popularity to GB with this spectacular debut album.
From the off you are thrown into the wonderful creativity of the 'bats, with the a capella song 'tales of girls, boys and marsupials' being a fine start to the record. Immediately after with some terrific editing, you are thrown straight into 'kill the director', one of the many songs on the receord that could top the charts.
In 'little miss pipedream', and 'here comes the anxiety', there is a soft side to the energetic trio, but they do nothing to detract from the raw energy created by the rest of the tracks.
This album is one of those records you listen to and find yourself thinking you already know the songs, such is the quality of this quirky indie-pop album. Amidst an orgy of harmonies, dancefloor-ready beats and dirty guitar riffs, the quality of the wombats' melody writing shines through, with a large quantity of songs that would sit comfortably in the top 20 of the charts.
Aside from the three popular singles from the album, (kill the director, let's dance to joy division and moving to new york) you can find quality catchy melodies on several stand out tracks, including barbershop opener "tales of girls...", dirty and bouncing pop track "school uniforms" and mandatory slow song turned sing-along anthem "here comes the anxiety." However, every album has its down-points (reference the clear album fillers "lost in the post" and "my first wedding." You'll find that almost every track tells a story and in many cases you can hopefully relate to them.
Apart from the couple of disappointing tracks, the album's flaws in some ways make it the individual and imperfectly great record it is. Although the voice is not particularly strong, it suits the music well (similarly the guitar sound is not perfect, but somehow it only makes the music sound better) and whilst it lacks the perfect production we have come to expect on pop songs now, it sounds fresher than the majority of boyband/girlband/reality-show-winner type of stuff that plagues the radios (which i am sure is what was intended by the producer in the first place.)
To sum up, if you enjoy your music with harmonies galore and melodies to match but are sick of the perfect clean pop that dominates the charts, then this is the album for you. Nevertheless, be prepared to hum tunes you think everyone knows on the bus whilst every little-miss rihanna gives you the gaze which says "what the hell are you humming freak?"
The Wombats are a three piece band from Liverpool, consisting of Matthew Murphy, Dan Haggis and Torg Øverland-Knudsen. Their debut album, 'A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation' was released late last year amongst massive hype after the release of the single 'Lets dance to Joy Division', and managed to match the commercial hype by receiving rave reviews and hitting number 11 in the UK album charts.
Okay, so that is the facts, but does the album really match up? Its been over a year since I first saw the wombats live now, and they have never failed to make me smile, so when I saw they were releasing an album, I was both enthusiastic and nervous. What if their fantastic sound didn't transfer well to CD? What if it was rubbish?
I needn't have worried. 'A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation' is a pure pop classic, with the singles 'Backfired At The Disco' and 'Kill The Director' fitting in perfectly alongside the less well-known songs like 'My First Wedding'. Murph's voice fits in perfectly amongst the thrashing guitars and steady drums on the track, with every song causing an impromptu dance-along (in my flat, at least!).
TRACK LISTING (Plus personal Rating, 10 being perfect)
1 Tales of Girls, Boys and Marsupials (8/10)
2 Kill the Director (9/10)
3 Moving to New York (8/10)
4 Lost in the Post (6/10)
5 Party in a Forest (Where's Laura?) (7/10)
6 School Uniforms (7/10)
7 Here Comes the Anxiety (9/10)
8 Let's Dance to Joy Division (9/10)
9 Backfire at the Disco (9/10)
10 Little Miss Pipedream (7/10)
11 Dr. Suzanne Mattox PHD (8/10)
12 Patricia the Stripper (10/10)
13 My First Wedding (6/10)
The album starts on a high - a short harmonial piece to introduce the album, before Kill The Director kicks in. Kill The Director was the band's first full single, and helped create the hype surrounding the album. It's lyrics tell a story about a boy taking a girl to see a bad rom-com (The Holiday, for those who want to know). Although some of the lyrics are a bit dubious ('Carrots help us see much better in the dark' comes to mind) the chant at the end of 'This is no Bridget Jones) sounds fantastic, both on the record and live, and brings some mainstream credibility to the record.
The album then introduces "Moving To New York", an ironic tale of an insomniac who chooses to move to 'the city that never sleeps'. The guitars in this track really shine, and it was this song that originally brought interest to the band. It is easy to see why - the lyrics seem to tell a story, and the rhythm sounds brilliant.
"Lost In The Post" is one of the 'slower' tracks on the album, but still more pacy than many songs by other bands. The chorus seems to explode out of the relatively mellow verses, but I must say that I tend to skip over this song when I listen to the album - it is not weak, but there are definitely better songs on the album. The immediate next song, "Party In A Forest (Where's Laura?)" is in my opinion a better song in a similar style to "Lost In The Post" - another slow number, but with this song the lyrics seem more charming and the addition of extra voices (even just 'oooh'ing) helps prevent Murph's voice from sounding isolated in the relatively empty track.
"School Uniforms" is a track that appeals to a younger generation than the rest of the song. It is reminiscent of a McFly hit, but with sexual undertones, and I think that it has a different sound to the rest of the album. It does, however, have a chanting section at the end of the song in a similar manner to previous songs, which helps link it in a little. I think its a good song, but maybe not in the right album?
"Here Comes The Love Anxiety" is the token slow song on the album, but surprisingly manages to hold its own amongst the other faster songs with which its surrounded with by admitting at the beginning that there's "no hint of a smile or the usual quirky anecdote". The song is considerably darker, but still manages to appeal to the listener by never isolating itself, and with lyrics like "I don't wanna be alone with me" you feel real empathy for Murph (and possibly want to give him a hug).
The next song on the album is the song that really hit big. "Lets Dance To Joy Division" was an instant hit, not least because of its reference to one of the biggest bands ever. The song is both charming and addictive, and, for some reason beyond me, having a song with the word "dance" in the title seems to catapult any band into stardom (Arctic Monkeys - I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor and Black Kids - I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance are other good examples.) Once again it has the one line repeated over and over at the end in the manner that all Wombats songs do, but it really does work well for them.
"Backfire At The Disco" is the tale of a night out gone wrong, which most people can identify with. The song is another one that is fantastic to dance to, and the contrast between the first verse and the second sounds amazing. The song has both wit and charm, and its impossible to ignore the catchy lyrics.
"Little Miss Pipedream" is an incredibly unusual song which you will either love or hate. However, love it or hate it, it gets in your head, and the jumpy sound of it is really relaxing and rhythmic. It is almost a slow song, and has a happy(ish) sound, even though the lyrics are emotive and heartfelt.
"Dr Susanne Maddox Phd." is quite a simplistic song, with a good beat and a strong set of lyrics. The song builds up in a manner similar to many other tracks on the album, and in my opinion, is worth a listen.
Then we come to what is, in my opinion, the creme de la creme of the album, Patricia The Stripper. The song is about, funnily enough, a stripper called Patricia who the singer is in love with. The intro to this track is unsurpassed, and then the entry of Murph's voice pushes this album to the top of the flock. The 'ooh's sound perfect, the lyrics are heartfelt and comedic, and the guitars and drum sound so fantastic on this track, and when it finally reaches its peak of "Patriiiiiiiiicia" its almost impossible not to sing along. The song is the epitome of good, darker Pop.
The ending of the album, after the highs of Patricia The Stripper, is rather disappointing. The final song of the album, "My First Wedding" is not a bad song, but fails to meet expectations after the brilliance of its predecessor. The song carries on for too long, and eventually loses all interest.
The album is a brilliant example of good pop, and is undoubtedly worth a listen if you like bands like Pigeon Detectives, Maximo Park, Los Campinescos and We Are Scientists. If you don't, then just listen to Patricia The Stripper on youtube. If that's your style, then give the album a go. It'll be worth it.
The Wombats are a three piece indie band from Liverpool, United Kingdom. The band comprises of; Matthew Murphy - lead vocalist of the group as well as playing the guitar and keyboard, Dan Haggis- b-vocalist and Drummer together with Norwegian Tord Øverland-Knudsen- Bass player and additional vocalist.
A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation is their debut UK album after having released serveral sucessful EPs and an album in Japan called 'Girls, Boys and Marsupials' back in 2006.
1. Tales of Girls, Boys and Marsupials.
2. Kill the Director
3. Moving to New York
4. Lost in the post
5. Party in a Forest (wheres Laura?)
6. School Uniforms
7. Here comes the anxiety
8. Let's dance to joy division
9. Backfire at the Disco
10. Little Miss Pipedream
11. Dr Susan Mattox Phd
12. Patricia the stripper
13. My first wedding
This album is a diverse mixture of indie/pop/rock. The lyrics of this album can be funny, romantic, thoughtful and crazy all at the same time, with a little bit of cheese on the side! The majority of the tracks on this album have repetitive verses such as, 'This is no Bridget Jones, Bridget, Bridget!' (kill the director) and 'go to santa, go, go, go' (Lost in the Post).
Overall I think this album is fantastic; with its catchy songs and positive lyrics this is a brilliant debut album.
This album can be purchased from all good record stores and online for around £7.99.
I do love this debut album from Liverpool based band The Wombats. If I have a criticism it is that the opening track which is purely a vocal rendition and quite quirky in its delivery with some awful rhyming is not a great way to launch into what is effectively and indie rock album but the rest of the songs more than make up for it.
1. Tales of Girls, Boys and Marsupials
2. Kill the Director
3. Moving to New York
4. Lost in the Post
5. Party in a Forest (Where's Laura?)
6. School Uniforms
7. Here Comes the Anxiety
8. Let's Dance to Joy Division
9. Backfire at the Disco
10. Little Miss Pipedream
11. Dr. Suzanne Mattox PHD
12. Patricia the Stripper
13. My First Wedding
There is acrispness to the vocals which is really good and the band are able to change tempo to good effect. Perhaps my favourite track off the album is Lets Dance to Joy Division which has a fast beat to it and some super lyrics. Kill the Director is the second track on the album and is a welcome relief after the banality of the opening track with a strong guitar lead in and some good vocals to support it.
Occasionally the band does seem to slightly over complicate their records with some sort of gimic, for example even on Lets Dnce to Joy Division there is a childrens choir vocal thing going on.
School Uniforms has some amusing lyrics full of teenage reflection on school days and the various infatuations and humiliation that goes on.
Overall this is a good album and is currently on sale for £5.98 at Amazon.
The Wombats are a three-piece band from Liverpool, an Indie band that have been together now since 2003. Having had three Top 40 singles from their début album, 'A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation' is an album which has brought great success to The Wombats and as far as I'm concerned this is nothing less than they deserve. Released in November 2007, their first album offering to date is thirteen tracks strong and consists of many fantastic tracks. Having been together for several years previous to recording this album has clearly benefited The Wombats greatly as they sound excellent in their 'A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation' album; a really tight unit performing perfectly together as a band.
After hearing their 'Let's Dance To Joy Division' single on the radio, I just had to get my hands on this album from The Wombats and am very glad that I did. This track really impressed me, and from the first time I ever heard it I was singing along by the end and tapping my feet frantically to the beat. It really is an instantly infectious Indie track and still remains to be one of my favourites from this album. Their other single 'Moving To New York' is another definite stand out track for me, one which I have worn out with continuous play over the last couple of months. I just never tire of the track and always enjoy singing and dancing along as the band blast their way through this one. The lyrics always bring a smile to my face, the guitars sound great, and the vocals are absolutely excellent. Everything about the track pleases me and I feel that I would find it hard to ever become bored of listening to it.
With 'Moving To New York' coming near the beginning, and 'Let's Dance To Joy Division' towards the middle, it should not be seen that these are the only stand out tracks from the album as this is really not the case. The album contains a great depth of quality, and many of the other tracks present on this album are hugely impressive. 'Lost In The Post' for example is an excellent track with a fantastic chorus also, I absolutely love the energetic ' Backfire at the Disco', and 'My First Wedding' closes the album brilliantly. Basically, there is no track here that particularly disappoints and listening enjoyment can be gained from each and every one of the thirteen tracks here present. 'Backfire at the Disco' is a track which I feel captures the band at their very best, it is a fantastically catchy track and is perhaps even more so than either of the aforementioned tracks which have already been released as singles. If I were working for the record label I would definitely commission this one as the next to be lifted from the album as I feel that it is one which could perform extremely well as a single release and could even propel the band in to the Top 10 for the first time in their history.
'A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation' is the first album the band have ever released in the UK, however in 2006 they released an album in Japan only entitled 'Girls, Boys and Marsupials'. It could therefore be seen perhaps then that this is the bands second album, however the fact that most of the tracks that were present on the Japan release are here also means that this is not really so. It would be foolish to argue that this is the bands second album when the track listing is largely the same, but what I will say is that 'A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation' is an album that you should really look to listen to. I am sure that there are many people out there that would be greatly impressed with the music that is on display on this album as there is never a dull moment with The Wombats and their tracks always possess plenty of life, character and charm. With such great energy and tremendously catchy tracks, The Wombats are a band that should go far and I for one can't wait to hear more from them. This should be the start of a long and successful career for The Wombats; it's taken them several years to hit the mainstream, but now that they've done so they should be here to stay.
Label: 14th Floor
Release Date: 5th November 2007
Originally posted by me on my website Alt-UK.com
A guide to Love, Loss & Desperation (AGTLLD) is the debut album from indie-pop group the wombats, well its the first UK album they did release one in Japan a year or two back but the tracklisting are basically the same on both with the addition of a couple of new tracks on AGTLLD. I believe the album to be one of the best released this year due to each track being original and i dont think theres one bad song on the album.
Ive reviewed the ones ive listened to most i dont think it would be fair to comment on the others as i havent listened to them enough.
1. Tales Of Girls, Boys And Marsupials
The album kicks of with an acapella from the three lads, ok its not going to go top of the charts and youll probably skip it every time youve listened to it once but its a laugh the first time.
2. Kill The Director
This is definately the best song on the album a upbeat indie song from the heart with words youll find yourself singing whenever you listen to the song "If this is a romcom, kill the director"
3. Moving To New York
Another great tune from the lads one of the earlier wombats songs but still one of the best. Starting with a great guitar intro the song just goes from strength to strength.
4. Lost In The Post
One of the more "poppy" songs on the album but still worth its weight in gold unless your listening to it as mp3 of course.
5. Party In A Forest (Where's Laura?)
How to describe this well its sort of a modern ballard with little help from backing instruments the singer just blasts out the lines.
6. School Uniform
7. Here Comes The Anxiety
8. Let's Dance To Joy Division
Its based on Joy Division how could it be bad one of the best indie-pop releases of the year. "Everything is going wrong but were so happy"
9. Backfire At The Disco
Another one of the earlier Wombats songs and a good one with great instrumentals and singing perfect.
10. Little Miss Pipedream
11. Dr Suzanne Mattox PHD
12. Patricia The Stripper
13. My First Wedding
Overall this album should be on your got to purchase list. However if you cant afford the whole album and want to download the best tracks check out kill the director and lets dance to joy division
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Tales of Girls, Boys and Marsupials
2 Kill the Director
3 Moving to New York
4 Lost in the Post
5 Party in a Forest (Where's Laura?)
6 School Uniforms
7 Here Comes the Anxiety
8 Let's Dance to Joy Division
9 Backfire at the Disco
10 Little Miss Pipedream
11 Dr. Suzanne Mattox PHD
12 Patricia the Stripper
13 My First Wedding