IRL records [Release date 19.03.16]
This is the Wonder Stuff’s eighth studio album and the album’s title refers to the bands thirtieth year. Vocalist/guitarist Miles Hunt is the sole original member (and his uncle Bill was a member of both ELO and Wizzard!), although bassist Mick McArthy has been in the band since 2003. The most recent additions to the band, guitarist Dan Donnelly and drummer Tony Arthy, joined in 2014 with violinist Erica Nockalls completing the line-up.
‘In Clover’ would be a hit single in a parallel universe where charts are not dominated by pop pap like Justin Bieber. It has driving beat, memorable chorus and heartfelt vocals from Miles Hunt. Erica Nockalls playing swirls in and out of the guitar parts to great effect, and at times you do think it could be the Levellers.
There is a sense of looking back and reflection in the lyrics – ‘The Kids From The Green’ recalls his childhood and how childhood friends spread far and wide in the adult years. The title track Miles looks back at the band’s formation and how he has no regrets over any of it, nor should he as the Wonder Stuff are a fine band now and back then.
This album will delight their many fans and it is for them as a thank you for supporting the band through thirty years. The Wonder Stuff are unlikely to have any hits again, but they can still produce fine songs as this album proves. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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