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The Wombats
This Modern Glitch
Bright Antenna Records
www.thewombats.co.uk


Liverpool-based trio The Wombats have taken the baton of synth-tinged Brit-pop from Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand and rehashed its vestiges for their second full-length album This Modern Glitch. Produced by Eric Valetine and Garret "Jacknife" Lee (The Cars, Editors, Bloc Party), This Modern Glitch revitalizes the familiar sounds of '80s electro-dance-pop tracks and sets it on an axis of processed beats making the songs polished with a club-ready finish.

Leaning heavily on synth-wreathed flourishes in "Our Perfect Disease" and "Techno Fan" like The Rapture, The Wombats take their cue from many synth-pop bands before them treading along a path that has already been forged. Drummer Dan Haggis provides staggering beats along "Girls/Fast Cars" and plows soft prattling taps through "Jump Into The Fog" as bassist/keyboardist Tord Overland-Knudsen creates a swathe of shimmering soundscapes. Frontman Matthew Murphy moves his vocals to project emotion in the verses like in "Tokyo" as he proclaims, "If you love me let me go / Back to that bar in Tokyo / Where the dreams from my past / Leave me in peace." The lyrics lean towards reflecting about the past like in "1996" with words that resound, "I had no cares in the 1990's / I knew of no downfalls / The war was breaking out all around me / My concerns were with prank calls."

The Wombats make pleasurable synth-pop which results in a stylish club-based album, but nothing that separates them from their predecessors. Conversely, their debut album A Guide To Love, Loss, and Desperation in 2008 was driven by a pop-punk propulsion, which has been traded in for the chic pop threads of This Modern Glitch.

-Susan Frances

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