WOMPS are a band from Glasgow that have a nostalgic ’90s indie/college rock sound akin to Built to Spill or Dinosaur Jr, with a touch of The Getup Kids-style angst. Their new album Our Fertile Forever, out June 10th on their label Displaced Records and The Orchard, consists of well-written songs that radiate a youthful urgency and wistfulness. The band members are singer/guitarist Ewan Grant and drummer Owen Wicksted, originally from the band Algernon Doll, with “assorted friends on bass” (press release).
The album opens with “Plasticine,” which boasts a loosely-strung bass sound and lo-fi, distorted guitar. Grant’s earnest, wobbly vocals call to mind Jay Mascis, and the song builds nicely to an exciting bridge. “Manners” has an infectious melody and a great, rapid-fire guitar riff that reminds me of Wolf Parade. “Live a Little Less” (video above) brings the angst but is still upbeat and danceable, with an elastic guitar line and a fun chorus. I will never not be amused by lyrics like, “Just wallow, wallow!” “Ritalin” sounds even more lo-fi with distorted vocals and a classic, catchy indie pop sound, contrasted with pounding drums.
“Cancer of The Bone” (live video with nice make-up on Wicksted) stands out for its elements of post-hardcore, despite its melodic tune, apparent in the angular guitar lead and what sounds like a double kick pedal. “Dreams on Demand” (video) and “Another Cell” are excellent, upbeat tracks, the latter featuring a slamming, moshpit-ready chorus and ending. “How Are You,” by contrast, is a bit reminiscent of my favorite Built to Spill song, “Liar,” but darker and with strong drums. It’s definitely an album highlight, and like “Liar,” would work well as the soundtrack to an emotional moment in a movie.
The album closer, “Gift From God,” has a feel unexpectedly like The Cure, especially in the verses, which emphasizes the versatility of the band. I would be happy to catch them live if they come out to L.A. While we wait, be sure to check out Our Fertile Forever on June 10th!