There aren’t many songs that you can honestly say you remember exactly when, where and how you first listened to them, and there are probably even less bands that manage to achieve this over and over again with the tracks that they bring out. For me however this was achieved in both instances. The first track i’d ever heard of theirs, was so captivating I desperately needed to hear more. I craved the album before I even knew the band. The track was ‘Moving to New York’ so the band could only be ‘The Wombats’. Before we go on, let me tell you how I lost my ‘Wombats’ virginity.
I remember sitting in the back of my dad’s car on a holiday campsite in the New Forest back at the beginning of 2008. We were listening to Fearne Cotton on radio 1 in morning when I heard it. Moving to New York was a joyous noise fest that exploded in my ears. From that first D minor to G chord progression I was hooked. I had never heard of The Wombats before but you could be sure from then on in I had. In fact the first thing I did when I got home from that holiday was buy their debut album ‘A Guide to Love Loss and Depression’.
For months on end I would have that album playing continually at school and home, to the point where my mum actually banned me from playing it out loud in my bedroom as she had passively learned the lyrics to every track on the album as well as me. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was about the album that mesmerised me to such an extent. Whether it was the consistency of every track, or the fact they were true indie dance floor fillers, but one thing is for sure, this three piece band from Liverpool had certainly captured my imagination. That album changed me. It was actually the first album I had paid any real attention to and in fact that was one of, if not the main reason I got into the idea of being in a band. After seeing them live in London I knew I HAD to be in a band and HAD to make it to their level... there was no other way. Watching them live was just as, if not more incredible than when I first heard them back in my dad’s car. The energy that all three band members exuded into their performance as well as the music was just mind blowing. Front man Mathew Murphy was SO entertaining, and to this day I’m still not too sure how he kept the guitar in tune let alone played the right chords as he dived around the sweaty stage like a young Mick Jagger.
Three years had passed since that incredible night at The Forum in London, and coming home from work I heard on the radio that the band was back! They had a new single and it was to be debuted on the Zane Lowe show the next evening. I couldn’t believe it, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell the rest of the band (who weren’t actually as in love with them as I was). Sure they were excited but in their eyes the new album wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as the first. Well they were wrong. The next evening on my way home from work I had my Raybans on and my windows down as ‘Anti D’ was blasting out of my speakers, even Zane Lowe was speechless so you can imagine my reaction! They were back, and back with a bang. The band that started it all off for me had been in the studio for three years tirelessly perfecting their new album ‘This Modern Glitch’. I pre-ordered it weeks in advance and could not wait to get my hands and ears on it.
The Album blew my mind over and over again; it was sensational and to this day is still by far my favourite album ever. From track one ‘Our Perfect Disease’ all the way through to track ten ‘Schumacher the Champagne’ I can’t say there is a single weak track on the album. Dave was unsure at first but after listening through the album a couple of times very loudly in my car he was hooked, as for the other two, they liked the first album (not as much as me), but when it came down to ‘This Modern Glitch’ they were caught. Finally the rest of the band knew and felt how I did, that these guys were just exceptional at writing songs! With a range of Dance Floor Fillers like ‘Lets Dance to Joy Divison’ (which any Inbetweeners fan will know) to Anthemic tracks such as ‘1996’ which if I had to choose would be my favourite track of theirs, if not my favourite track of all time.
All I can say is I can’t praise or thank this band enough as if it wasn’t for them I may not even be in The Wondersmiths today, and tracks such as ‘Insignificant’ may not sound the way they do due to their massive influence on the way we write our own tracks. After hearing ‘Your Body is a Weapon’ of their forthcoming third album I really cannot wait as I’m sure it will take me back once again to my days of being at school, attempting to make a go of it with my various musical projects and being blown away yet again by my favourite band The Wombats.