The Wombats, “Glitterbug”
This is tosh. Well-produced tosh, but tosh nonetheless. Having started as a cheeky indie band that penned an infectious breakthrough track (“Let’s Dance to Joy Division”) and one genuinely brilliant song (“Moving to New York”), The Wombats had a good start. The British band’s second album sucked and this one sucks, too. Glitterbug is purely zeitgeist chasing and doing a very poor job at it—just drudging along, joylessly playing with big synths through a sense of obligation. The LP feels like the band is screaming at the top of its lungs to be relevant, especially with the unbelievably shameless track “Emoticons” as its grand opener. Thing is, Matthew Murphy’s vocals are naturally whimsical and sweet, so pair them with scratchy guitars and his skill with melodic inflection is brought into focus. Stick him against the industry sound banks and it belongs in an electro-indie landfill.