The Wombats came to represent everything that was wrong with the scratchy, post-Libertines indie scene. Their lyrics were not just dull, they were obviously stupid. Will moving to New York, a city that famously never sleeps, help you defeat insomnia? And is dancing to Joy Division ironic? No it will not, and no it fucking isn’t! Arrrrrggghhh! All of which would be totally forgivable if the music wasn’t so outrageously bland. Like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy, the template left by the Libertines was left so diluted and contaminated by the time it reached The Wombats that the only reasonable thing to do would be to put it in the paper-shredder. When I search for The Wombats on Amazon, in the music I may also like selection it kindly suggested other landfill indie acts: The Enemy, The Pigeon Detectives etc. True they show energy, but so do rabid dogs when they’re trying to sink their teeth into your balls.

But let’s be totally fair here. The Wombats are just a bunch of guys who wanted to be in a band, make music, and have some fun. It’s not their fault their mediocre talent was hyped so massively out of all proportion…

Alas, you can’t keep an overhyped band down. The Wombats return with ‘Tokyo’, which does for the electro-pop scene what ‘Moving to New York’ did for the indie scene i.e. serve as a timely reminder for the genre’s over-saturation. Tokyo’s another cool destination of course, and this time the singer’s advocating going there to escape his problems, as if going to New York wasn’t enough. At this rate ’Moving to New York Part 3’ should have them circling Pluto – and I predict that The Wombats will go neo-folk for that one.

‘Tokyo’ is catchy and well-produced, but again it’s using a template that has no more life in it. If The Wombats are to become scene leaders, rather than scene stealers, they’re going to have to go in a dangerous new direction rather than copying everyone else. I doubt that will happen. 

Release Date 27/09/2010 (14th Floor Records)

Chris Gilliver

I started out writing for the Manchester Evening News as a freelance journalist back in 2008. The idea that I would be given free access to music and gigs seemed somehow miraculous to me, and I proceeded to take full advantage of the situation. When the M.E.N. decided to constrict its coverage to only the very biggest bands, Simon Poole approached me with a plan to make sure that all the very talented musicians of this world that pass through and/or live in Manchester would not go unnoticed. As the New Releases editor here at Silent Radio Towers, it remains my proud duty to cast a critical eye over the music and reviews that come my way in a manner that is both supportive and fair. Above all, I strive to write as entertainingly possible. Favourite musicians include the Pixies, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Mercury Rev, Os Mutantes, The Knife, Beach House etc etc. I'm a firm believer that all genres (except nu-metal) contain music of great quality...