Escape from Rubbish Island

The Wonder Stuff

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Escape from Rubbish Island Review

by John D. Luerssen

Eleven years after ending the Wonder Stuff on a sour note with the downright awful Construction for the Modern Idiot, original members Miles Hunt and Malc Treece have re-grouped -- with new drummer Luke Johnson on loan from Amen and ex-Radical Dance Faction bassist Mark McCarthy -- to right the wrongs. Escape From Rubbish Island may not match the 1991 classic Never Loved Elvis, but it boasts some superb songs in the band's unique indie folk/rock style heightened by Hunt's sorely-needed, wry observations. From the stellar title track, which opens proceedings by looking down on modern England before the surly frontman looks inward ("I may be a rat/but I can live with that") to the exceptional Celtic touches of the set-bowing "Loves Ltd," fans of the Stuffies are sure to rejoice. Escape From Rubbish Island may be littered with a couple of disposable songs -- most notably the dark, goth-like "Head Count" -- but with irresistibly melodic, attitudinal numbers like "Back to Work" and "Another Comic Tragedy," the Wonder Stuff still manage to say it all with their moniker.

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