THE WOMBATS-“Proudly Present A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation”

With song titles like, “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” and “School Uniforms,” the new Wombats album is tailor-made for instant indie buzz. Plus, it’s got two English boys from Liverpool plus one Norwegian, so it’s even got the DNA for blog love. Well, although it’s not an instant classic, I’m happy to report that “A Guide to Love” is a fun, hooky, dancerock debut. Listen to it all the way through and it can get a bit formulaic—it’s clearly commercialized indie rock—but there’s enough goodness here to make it worth your time. Many of the songs here were first released independently as EPs and singles—and it sounds like it. More of a collection than a record, the band hits more often than it misses. The lead single, “Let’s Dance to Joy Division,” is bouncy and tight—a perfect single. “Here Comes The Anxiety” is full of riffy Killers angst. And so on. There’s nothing surprising here, but there’s lots of tunes perfect for a road trip with a rolled-down window and a cool breeze.

For fans of: Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Art Brut.

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