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.
AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen