The Wombats, Proudly Present A Guide to Love,
Loss and Desperation
The Wombats have gone and done what many of us were expecting, and that's deliver an album that is often as insufferably 'wacky' as their name.
Tracks like former single 'Backfire at the Disco' and 'Little Miss Pipedream' are the biggest culprits; coming off like the musical equivalent of an irritating media student who thinks everything is 'raaaaaaaandom', whereas efforts like 'Kill the Director' and 'School Uniforms' are tired rehashes of the standard punk-funk sound that clogged up the public consciousness in 2005.
But perhaps I'm being too harsh. Because behind all the brash 'craziness', there is evidence of a decent pop band itching to get out. 'Party in a Forest' is a definite highlight, because it distils everything the Wombats are good at; catchy melodies, story-telling lyrics and crisp guitars, into a three-minute pop song, with an almost Weezer-like expertise.
Elsewhere, the ubiquitous hit single 'Let's Dance to Joy Division' suggests that they are a band capable of creating truly inventive pop, and that if they'd have written more like this, then this would be much better album.
But when an album contains such lyrical nuggets as 'I've seen her slam tequilas like Oliver Reed on an Irish stag-do', then you know its main audience will be people who think David Dickinson is a 'legend' and Mr T a 'genius', and would you want anything to do with these people? Of course you wouldn't.
Despite the gripes, The Wombats do have plenty of potential, but at the moment, you won't find anything too earth-shattering on Proudly Presents.