Four years following the release of their last studio album (This Modern Glitch), and eight years since the release of their first studio album (A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation), British indie band The Wombats released Glitterbug, the group’s third studio album. Upon listening to the new album, it’s clear that the group has used the time to work on further developing their sound, resulting in the creation of an album that synthesizes some of the best things from the previous two albums, while also infusing some elements of ’70s and ‘80s pop and glam rock.
“Your Body Is A Weapon” was the first single released from the new album, on October 2, 2013, and right off the bat set the tone for this album as a bit slower, groovier, and more stripped back than the previous two albums. It maintains the slick production value of This Modern Glitch, while also bringing it back to a more alternative rock sound more similar to A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation.
The first track off of the new album “Emoticons” starts off soft and slow, with lead singer Matthew Murphey’s (Murph) melodic voice and a steady beat gently guiding the listener into the new album. This track establishes a thematic break from the previous album. While last album was a bit more nostalgic and cynical, with songs like “1996”, this song is a clear reference to some hallmarks of modern communication: texting and emoticons. This song of heartache and frustration gradually builds into a smooth and psychedelic chorus; a ballad for the modern youth, crying out against the perpetual frustrations that come with the newfound use of texting and emoticons as a language for love and attraction.
“Greek Tragedy” is another track off this new album that’s heavy on the beat. It lets Murph’s voice ring out and really builds into the chorus, in the end becoming downright anthemic – quite fitting considering the title.
The synth and electronic influences present in This Modern Glitch are still very much present in this new album, with a bit more of a retro twist. “Headspace” and “This Is Not A Party” are downright groovy, perfect for a John Hughes-‘80s-movie-montage. “Headspace” the perfect sad song with a happy beat, while “This Is Not A Party” dials up the funk factor a notch, with a bit of fun story-telling reminiscent of their first album and “School Uniforms”.
Overall, this new album is far less nostalgic than This Modern Glitch, and more laid back than A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation. With time their sound has matured significantly, but in the end Tord, Murph, and Dan are still staying true to their roots and making perfectly danceable indie jams like “The English Summer” and “Pink Lemonade” for all your summer lawn party needs.