Derry City’s anti-pop quartet Wonder Villains are what modern pop music should hope to be but so often is not – they’re actually fun. Born in a Northern Ireland high school in 2009, they are preparing to release their first full album, Rocky, in June, and the band seems to have really solidified their character. Sprinkled with Mother Mother-esque vocal flourishes, Wonder Villains have all the charm and color of Tilly and the Wall and the no-nonsense lyricism and energy of The Wombats – but they are indisputably one-of-a-kind. Still drifting in the ambiguous grey area between adolescence and adulthood, the group’s sound is mature beyond their years, yet they never once come off as self-indulgent or pretentious.
While it may be common practice for reviewers to grasp at straws for something favorable to say or to over-inflate their sentiments in order to inspire interest in their writing and appease others, it is important to me that I am honest about my opinions and that I give credit only where credit is due. That being said, from the moment Eimear Coyle’s infectious vocals came in over the pumping pop-punk guitar and bright synth, I felt a sneaking suspicion that I had stumbled upon something truly special, and I had no choice but to share it. My impression was validated when, several songs into their discography, my exceptionally discerning boyfriend declared with an almost evangelical enthusiasm, “I love this!” “Marshall” is refreshingly modern, yet it strikes all of the right nostalgia chords that make music stick with you for a long, long time.
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