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4.1 out of 5 stars51
4.1 out of 5 stars
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I gambled on this CD, only having listened to Moving to New York on XFM...

Glad I did to be honest as it's a very honest and uplifting CD, one of the best I've heard since Snow Patrol's "Final Straw" and Hard-Fi's "Stars of CCTV". If you need a guide as to their sound, think the Arctics stirred with Blur and add a dash of Julian cope (Teardrop Explodes - ask your dad!)

The afore-mentioned Moving to New York is a superb single, with great guitars one of the album's rocking tracks. Let's Dance to Joy Division brings back memories and always raises a smile. There are some weaker tracks but overall there are a varied ensemble of original and lively songs on offer here.

Only a three-piece, the Wombats deliver a bigger sound than you'd think though they don't take themselves too seriously which is refreshing. There is every chance these cheeky chappies can mature into a successful indie-rock band and they shouldn't feel the need to be the next Arctic Monkeys....just be themselves. I will certainly look out for the next offering though their record label would no doubt have preferred a more edgy name!

Four stars...well deserved
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on 3 December 2007
I have know of the Wombats for a considerable amount of time and was particularly looking foward to the debut album. I was not to be let down. The band's lead singer, Matthew Murphy has a Liverpudlian accent that any up and coming singer from the north west would die for. The distinctive tracks of the album certainly are Kill The Director, Backfire At The Disco and of course indie anthem Let's Dance To Joy Division. However, one track that struck me was the Track No. 1 'Tales Of Girls, Boys And Marsupials' which is a short, simple melody involving fellow members: Dan Haggis and Tord Øverland-Knudsen also singing. It's a track that shows the trio didn't go to music college for nothing. This is truly an album that will amaze you, full of catchy pop love tunes that you will be singing for many weeks to come.
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on 7 November 2007
Believe the hype!
I, like a lot of people who will be checking out this album, had only previously heard "Let's Dance to Joy Division." When I heard this I immediately loved it. Then I went to see The Enemy and The Wombats were supporting them. They are a brilliant live band and songs such as "Lost in the Post" and "Kill The Director" really stood out, even thought I had only ever heard them live that one time.
I bought the album the day it came out and haven't stopped listening since! Personally I think the standout tracks are:

Let's Dance to Joy Division
Kill The Director
Lost in The Post
and the brilliant Moving to New York.

The catchy tunes and great lyrics (this is another song about a gender I'll never understand) make this a great album and, despite being pretty mainstream indie, does have that little bit extra to make it standout as one of the true great debut albums.
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on 7 November 2007
The album is very solid, fun and witty. Ive heard people complain about their lyrics saying they are simple, but look at The Beatles, nobody said 'Please Please Me' was simple, they are simply good songs that even me, who hates commercial pop and anything that is remotely like Snow Patrol can love a band like The Wombats. After being a fan for over 2 years ive heard most of the tracks already but there's still so many good songs to keep it refreshing, for now! I don't think this album will be in my CD player for more than a month though, I don't want to overplay it because i think it may end up grating on me. I wish they could release some of the songs that didn't get on the album as a kind of EP next year. 'Little Miss Pipedream' is great. 9/10.
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on 5 November 2007
I've been an avid marsupial for about 18 months, during which the band have greatly improved to get to where they are today - releasing their first UK album. I have the Japanese album and thanks to that and a few gigs, I have heard all the songs on this album and they are all absolutely fantastic. My personal favourite on this disc is Lost in the Post, although special mentions have to go to the two recent singles, Kill the Director and Let's Dance to Joy Division, as well as the darker, but still wonderful Here Comes the Anxiety. The one problem with this album is that many of we long-term fans already have most of these songs, but if you've never bought any Wombats before, or even if you have, this is well worth getting.
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on 24 January 2008
This album is one of those records you listen to and find yourself thinking you already know the songs, such is the quality of this quirky indie-pop album. Amidst an orgy of harmonies, dancefloor-ready beats and dirty guitar riffs, the quality of the wombats' melody writing shines through, with a large quantity of songs that would sit comfortably in the top 20 of the charts.

Aside from the three popular singles from the album, (kill the director, let's dance to joy division and moving to new york) you can find quality catchy melodies on several stand out tracks, including barbershop opener "tales of girls...", dirty and bouncing pop track "school uniforms" and mandatory slow song turned sing-along anthem "here comes the anxiety." However, every album has its down-points (reference the clear album fillers "lost in the post" and "my first wedding."

Apart from the couple of disappointing tracks, the album's flaws in some ways make it the individual and imperfectly great record it is. Although the voice is not particularly strong, it suits the music well (similarly the guitar sound is not perfect, but somehow it only makes the music sound better) and whilst it lacks the perfect production we have come to expect on pop songs now, it sounds fresher than the majority of boyband/girlband/reality-show-winner type of stuff that plagues the radios (which i am sure is what was intended by the producer in the first place.)

To sum up, if you enjoy your music with harmonies galore and melodies to match but are sick of the perfect clean pop that dominates the charts, then this is the album for you. Nevertheless, be prepared to hum tunes you think everyone knows on the bus whilst every little-miss rihanna gives you the gaze which says "what the hell are you humming freak?"
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on 21 November 2007
As an avid 'consumer' of music, in virtually all it's genres, I often find myself in the position of "so much music to listen to, so little time". This results in the need to seperate the wheat from the chaff (to quote Gareth Keenen).

In this situation, albums need to demand your attention. They need to be better than the previous album you bought in that genre. It doesn't stop me buying them, because I'm always looking for that next diamond in the rough, but they need to be special enough to bring me back to them. And that's where I come to my point (eventually)... this is not special.

It doesn't stand out. Nothing here is new, and nothing here is of such pop genius that you completely forgive it's lack of originality. But hey, if you've got a couple of guitars and some skinny jeans, you get signed these days, so it's not the bands fault. It almost feels like this type of band would never have graduated from garage practice sessions without the NME, and the NME wouldn't have anything to write about without bands like these.

"Kill The Director" and "Moving to New York" stand out above the rest of the tracks as very catchy, well written, energetic songs that make you want to hit repeat when it ends. And although the single "Let's Dance to Joy Division" is also a lot of 'fun' (condescending, I know), it's not really like any of the other tracks on this album, which make a valiant effort at being light, catchy indie music, but fail to live up to the three big records above (and are therefore pretty skippable).

So, it's not bad, it has it's moments. No doubt they're nice lads and they seem to be having a good time, but... you've heard it all before. We've had bands like The Maccabees & Good Shoes do a similar thing this year far better, so I'd reach for those before this every time.

Amazon, we need a 2.5 stars option!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 April 2015
The Wombats' first album 'A Guide to Love Loss & Desperation' was a short-lived muse of mine back in 2007, and after hearing their latest album, I've dusted it off recently, and stil enjoy it.

This Liverpool based indie-rock band sure knew how to make fun, quirky and optimistic music. The big hits, 'Let's Dance to Joy Division' (written by lead singer Matthew Murphy about the night he and his girlfriend danced on a table to 'Love Will Tear Us Apart') by Joy Division and 'Moving To New York' are just so addictive, particularly the latter. Whilst I do still maintain that those two songs, and the other single 'Backfire at the Disco', are the real highlights here, the whole album is still great fun to put on and dance to.

If you enjoy indie-pop bands like The Kooks and The Fratellis, 'Guide to Love Loss & Desperation' will definitely be you're cup of tea.

The deluxe edition: The Wombats Proudly Present..A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation + DVD, comes with a bonus DVD, which includes footage of the band at the South by Southwest festival, along with the music videos for the singles.
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on 27 November 2007
this is a brilliant album,,, this young new group have catchy tunes and awsum lyrics a really enjoyable album,,,, see them live if you can..
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on 13 November 2007
With the current `rebellion' against the whole commercial indie pop rock movement, or whatever the `cool' are referring to it as this month, it would be easy to jump on the band wagon and give this album a torrent of criticism. However I found that I couldn't help but enjoy the debut offering from this scouse three-piece.

As you would expect from producer Stephen Harris, whose previous work includes Kula Shaker's `K' and Dave Matthew's Band's `Busted Stuff', this album seems to flow effortlessly between tight guitar riffs and cleverly placed harmonies track after track. From the opener `Tales of Girls, Boys and Marsupials', a 70 second track of A cappella repetitive, yet elegant vocals, you get a taster that this could be something interesting. This is followed by the band's first hit `Kill the Director' which, for all the over indulgence it took on our airwaves over the summer, I couldn't help but sing along to and tap my feet with, hopefully in time to energetic drumming!

The sound of the band seems to follow that very well trodden path of a number of the hard working British acts at the moment. But then this comes as no surprise from a band that has supported both the Kaiser Chiefs and Babyshambles. Front man Matthew Murphy's narrative lyrics tell the tales of an upbringing which in some cases, for example `School Uniforms' which tells us of Murphy's first interest in the opposing sex, the listener can relate to. Murphy mixes it up a bit though with stories that perhaps, are not to relative to the audience, like `Moving to New York' which was written after he saw his girlfriend of the time kiss another woman in a nightclub. These words and rhymes all seem to be well complimented by happy little guitars and keyboards, of Murphy's composition, throughout. Along with the fitting drums and bass lines from Dan Haggis and Tord Øverland-Knudsen respectively the tunes take good shape and make for easy listening.

As the tracks go by, the album seems to settle down into a certain `comfort zone' and you could easily draw comparisons to such bands as the Pigeon Detectives and Little Man Tate, albeit with different accents. However, who says this has to be such a bad thing? Whilst the upbeat little tunes won't leave you feeling like your whole life has changed; neither will they leave you thinking `what a waste of time'. Given a chance, this album will work its way inside your head and have you singing along and quite possibly dancing around your room, secretively as this may be. A good, fun record.
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