Friday, August 8, 2008


The Wombats Proudly Present: A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation-
The Wombats
Status-Out as of 2008 (in the US)
Label-14th Floor
Rating-3 Feathers

When drummer Dan Haggis and guitarist Matthew Murphy met at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, they became friends and started jamming together. When bassist Tord Øverland came to the school from Norway, he got an offer to join them, which would help them soon form The Wombats. With chances given by the school to perform in front of more than 20,000 people, the band were sure to write something. This led to ‘The Wombats Proudly Present: A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation’. The title is very suiting in the fact that every song mentions love, loss, or desperation. The album starts out with ‘Tales of Girls, Boys, and Marsupials’. It is out right freaky. It’s a weird a cappella sung by all three members and it sets the mood of weird for the rest of the album. ‘Kill the Director’ was inspired by their hatred for romantic comedies (‘if this is a rom-com, kill the director’). It’s very catchy and weird enough to work. ‘Moving to New York’ is fantastic. Tord’s bass is flat out awesome because to me using a bass as a lead is always a plus. It has an over all dark aura about it, but it still makes me think ‘Christmas came early for me.’ ‘Lost in the Post’ is pretty dull. Dan’s drums are the only thing that really make the song, the rest is just bland. As the lyrics suggest, it’s just his ‘inability to think outside the box’. ‘Party in a Forest (Where’s Laura)’ is a heavy/calm sort of song, but it’s absolutely nothing special. It’s just a dumb love song in disguise. ‘School Uniforms’ seems overall far too easy to play, which makes it silly. The chorus is the only thing that is memorable about it. ‘Here Comes the Anxiety’ is not ‘the darkest song (he) ever wrote’ as he suggested. It’s a nice, serene song. The backing vocals of oohs and the like add The Wombats flair to it. ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ is my favourite song on the record. Because I megaloathe Joy Division, I was glad to find the song had really nothing to do with them. Murph’s Liverpool accent is extremely prominent, which makes the song very captivating (you know how I love accents). Dan’s drumming fits the song flawlessly. However, the kids choir is really creepy. ‘Backfire at the Disco’ is gloomier than the last song, but it’s still pretty good. Tord and Dan are just really great musicians. ‘Little Miss Pipedream’ is too long. It goes on and on and on. It has virtually no variation which is enough to put you to sleep. ‘Dr. Suzanne Mattox PhD’ sounds industrial with a bubblegum twist. It’s a nice wake up to the previous song due to it’s change of mood and pace. ‘Patricia the Stripper’ sounds like a song that tons of groups have already done before. The only interesting part is backing vocals, but that couldn’t even save it. ‘My First Wedding’ has a post-punk vibe to it, which stands out from the rest of the songs. You can actually hear the anger in his voice! I commend the band for not only conveying the emotion in the lyrics so well, but for also ending the album with a loud, fast song rather than a quiet, sappy song, which a lot of bands seem to do. This band has a very childish feel to them, but they are definitely sound musicians. Though this album wasn’t astounding or life changing, they still managed to write a few sure hits. With a musical education, and a developing fan base, let’s hope that the next piece of work is better.
“In the middle of the songs we'd break into uncontrollable screaming. The idea was not to be funny."- Matthew Murphy

Video For Let's Dance to Joy Division

The Wombats Official Webstite
Note: I hope you enjoy, I'm trying to get reviews out as quickly as I can so you should check back when you can, if you want. I won't wait two weeks before my next post like I used to so whatever. Thank you all for your support!


LisaK said...

Review is outstanding once again. Banner is so kewl. This band well at least the vid posted not so much for me - I may go check for another on youtube. Going to check out the previous post!

Double Hawk said...

LisaK: I'm not expecting much people to like them (I gave it a 3), but I hope you enjoy the review!

Arnold Layne said...

Great review, but that album has some pretty weird song names to it. Nice header though, I love how you have Jimmy just hangin' out.

Double Hawk said...

Arnie: I like the first couple a songs alot better than the rest of the album. I'm glad you recognized the was Jimmy. That was a great scene in Quadrophenia (the movie).