The Wonder Stuff – Escape From Rubbish Island

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Having thrown in the towel 11 years ago and then re-formed in 2001 to play sold out live shows to the still-faithful, The Wonder Stuff, or at least Miles Hunt and Malc Treece, have finally put out an album of new material.

Not a lot has changed; Hunt’s acerbic take on modern life is still present and correct, as is their ability to craft a catchy tune. The title track kicks things off in hook-laden fashion, while BETTER GET READY FOR A FIST FIGHT – the first single – is a tongue-in-cheek assessment of where the band find themselves right now: “I’ve been resting on my laurels / even though I know it’s wrong / It could be time to write a masterpiece / and sell it for a song”.

At times, these bright and breezy songs come across more Simple Minds than The Clash (BACK TO WORK, YOU DON’T KNOW WHO…) but there are enough flirtations with the dark side (the atmospheric HEAD COUNT) to keep those thirtysomething Stuffies fans in touch with their mis-spent youth.

A solid if unadventurous album: nothing here to upset existing fans, nothing either to win any new ones.

4 stars