#albumoftheday / REVIEW: THE WOMBATS: GLITTERBUG

“It’s all good with me if I know it’s all good with you,” sings The Wombats’ frontman Matthew Murphy during “Pink Lemonade,” just one of many fun songs from their infectious new album, Glitterbug. And, guess what, it’s all good to me!

It’s hard to believe it’s only the band’s third full-length album, considering their debut album came out in 2007. That said, they’ve released several EPs in between albums so it’s not as though they’ve been in hiding. On the contrary, they’ve been gradually perfecting their craft and have fully transformed themselves into a huge ball of awesomeness here.

“Your body is a weapon, love / And it makes me want to cry,” goes “Your Body Is a Weapon,” one of the album’s first singles, released way back in 2013 but no less enjoyable here. I point it out because it would seem the whole album was written around that one song, as if it was the very launching pad off which the rest of the album took off.

Some have stated that Glitterbug’s lyrics are too silly, but, seriously, The Wombats have never been a band of the self-serious, or even serious, sort. After all, this is the band whose debut includes “Let’s Dance To Joy Division.” If anything, the lyrics here are slightly more serious than those on their previous releases. But one is unlikely to notice that because the music is super upbeat and catchy. (To be fair, the album does open with a song called “Emoticons,” so it’s not as though they’ve gone dark here, just slightly less rainbow-esque.) These are songs meant to induce euphoria, not melancholia.

Most of Glitterbug was produced by Mark Crew, the remarkable producer who helped make Bastille the international superstars that they are today. To that end, there are subtle clues scattered throughout the album hinting that the band would like to break America. At face value, it would seem he’s on about a girl when he exclaims “we could be gigantic” during “Give Me a Try,” but then the whole song could be using the girl as a metaphor for American audiences. (Most of the album is inspired by Murphy’s adventures in Los Angeles.) And I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t find success here with this album. It’s chock full of singsong choruses, irresistible guitar hooks and a joyful spirit that’s downright contagious. Call it indie pop perfection.

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Written by

Paris365

An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.

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