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Wallaby Willington

Rating: 7/10 ?

December 15, 2006
When this album arrived through the post, I didn't quite know what to make of it, and that was before the CD had made its acquaintance with the laser. Wallaby Willington, indeed. What is it all about?

Well, let's look at the evidence, shall we? Exhibit A - the band's name for starters: Wallaby Willington. Exhibit B - the hand-drawn cover artwork of a sailing ship. Exhibit C - the whole array of folksy instruments listed inside. Exhibit 4 - around a million band members. Put all these together and, without even listening to the album, one instinctively knows what's on the way: quaint, twee, DIY folk. And, lo and behold, that's exactly what emanates from the speakers.

Now, before you folkies out there begin to sharpen your pens in reply to what you're presuming will be a stern ticking off to Wallaby Willington, I should point out that it's not all that bad. True, the twee-ness can be a little cloying, but when it works, which is more often than should be expected, it has a strange endearing quality, as in the same way Ooberman did in their more pastoral moments.

Wallaby Willington live in their own little world and Euripides provides a portal to it. The whole affair has a child-like quality to it. It's pleasant, if a little lightweight, and the songs kind of rumble along quite happily without ever going, or taking you, anywhere in particular. The album lacks truly memorable melodies, and the band appears to place more emphasis on the instrumentation underpinning the songs rather than the songs themselves. "Snow" and "Bones," however, do have engaging, melancholic melodies and provide the album's highlights, displaying the shadier side of the band's insular world through slower tempos and arrangements based on repetition.

There's no escaping the fact that this is frothy twee, but Euripides is not without its moments and there is a certain charm to it. One could suggest they up sticks and head to East Anglia and join forces with the Norwich-core scene. Indeed, had they been around twenty years ago, Sarah Records would've have loved 'em. Hey, the band's from Leeds and they have to at least be applauded for providing something very different to the raft of angular guitar wannabes camped there at the moment.

Reviewed by Mark Thompson

See other reviews by Mark Thompson



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