The Wombats

This Modern Glitch

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The Wombats' 2011 sophomore effort, This Modern Glitch finds the gleefully cynical Brit trio delivering a batch of catchy, immediately memorable dance-rock tracks the likes of which haven't been heard since the glory days of Blur and '90s Cool Britannia. Mixing the literate, biting social critique of Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner with Blur frontman Damon Albarn's jaded eye for ennui in the modern world, the Wombats have crafted their own would-be classic 21st century masterpiece. Frontman Matthew Murphy, an avowed skewer of pop culture trends since 2007's A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation, retains his humorously cynical yet wide-eyed lyrical gaze, which brings to mind both Peter Sellers' and Ray Davies' personas of comedic intellectuals relenting to the debauched party atmosphere around them, which they don't quite approve of but can no longer ignore. The sentiment is perhaps best expressed on the delirious, revelatory anthem "Techno Fan," in which Murphy, despite the music not being to his taste, screams to the girl who invited him out to the club, "Shut up and move with me, move with me or get out of my face." Similarly, tracks like the driving post-punk disco cut "Tokyo (Vampires and Werewolves)" and deliciously bleak "Jump into the Fog" are grand statements of Pyrrhic, drunken escape from the pressures of modern life, with Murphy crooning on "Tokyo," "Finally! I know what it takes/It takes money and aeroplanes." He pushes the notion further on the brilliantly melodic, ennui-ridden baroque pop ballad "Anti-D," in which Blur's "karaoke songs" from "The Universal" have been replaced by the Wombats' own songs, which are better than "citalopram" and "to be prescribed as freely as any decongestants." The song, like the rest This Modern Glitch, makes the case for the Wombats as both rock stars and fools in their own pop star sitcom.

blue highlight denotes track pick