The Wake's second album is so much better than their first, 1982's Harmony, that the earlier album may safely be forgotten, or at least thought of as a painful growing lesson. Here Comes Everybody, which, like the Glasgow quartet's name, is derived from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, is a lost treasure of mid-'80s U.K. indie pop. Mono-named bandleader Caesar's Byrds-via-Bunnymen guitar is pushed more to the forefront than ever before, even as his breathy voice is pushed so far back into the mix that his melancholy lyrics are difficult to distinguish. Steven Allen's drums and Alex MacPherson's bass are equally low-key, finally allowing the band to once and for all escape the Joy Division-wannabe tag that had plagued them ever since their first single, "On Our Honeymoon." Dark-hued but not gloomy, the eight songs on Here Comes Everybody are musically varied enough to keep from sounding too samey. The wistful "Melancholy Man," with its gliding melody, artless vocals, and jangling guitars, sounds like a template for Sarah Records, the influential U.K. indie label the Wake would eventually sign with; the summery, melodica-driven "A World of Her Own" recalls early Prefab Sprout with its rare duet vocal by keyboardist Carolyn Allen. However, it's the closing title track that's a particular standout. A seven-minute epic with a hypnotic guitar riff and an air of quiet menace, "Here Comes Everybody" is a brooding meditation on lost love with a tightly wound, contents-under-pressure edge that threatens to explode but never quite does. It's a most impressive end to a surprisingly excellent album.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason