Album Reviews

David Wrench – The Atomic World Of Tomorrow

(Storm) UK release date: 30 May 2005

David Wrench - The Atomic World Of Tomorrow The first thing to get out of the way when you’re talking about David Wrench is the incredible presence and look of the man. You would never know from the artwork of the minimalist sleeve, but Wrench is a 6’5″ Welsh albino of Viking descent. He also has a penchant for dressing up in white leather (all these subjects are covered in his song White Leather Love – Part One).

How much of this is entirely relevant is anyone’s guess. Given that Wrench would not look out of place in an ’80s nightclub dressed in the finest new romantic togs, it can’t be purely coincidence that The Atomic World Of Tomorrow leans heavily on the ’80s for inspiration.

A cursory flick through the album reveals a heavy debt to the likes of Marc Almond and Erasure, and there are also knowing winks towards the likes of Yello as you make your way through Wrench’s Atomic World. If the mention of the words ’80s’, ‘Thatcher’ and ‘Kajagoogoo‘ fill you with horror, don’t panic; Wrench has been utterly selective with his influences.

He seems to have an uncanny knack for mixing up sweet pop melodies with electroclash – almost every track here is testimony to that. There are also plenty of stand out moments: World War IV highlights Wrench’s ability to pen stupendous polished pop floor fillers. Lonely Winter In A Seaside Town takes Nick Cave to a Pride march in Brighton in December, and results in a yet another candidate for next year’s A Song For Europe.

Recent single Superhorny is probably the shining example of Wrench’s ability to fuse pop sensibility with the sleaze of a drug-fuelled night out on the tiles. His vocals swing wildly between the voices of Almond and Jarvis Cocker, while the lyrics may have been cobbled from sections excised from Carry On scripts. His entendres don’t even have the grace to be double. “I’m Superhorny, like test match cricket, c’mon baby put your leg before my wicket” should give you some idea where this song is coming from. Still, top marks for “I’m Superhorny like Paxman on Newsnight“.

Sadly Wrench’s anti-war re-working of Radiohead‘s Creep isn’t included (Mr.Yorke threw his rattle out of his pram), but maybe that is a good thing. Perhaps if it had been included, everyone would have concentrated upon that track alone, and missed out on some classic retro-pop.

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David Wrench – The Atomic World Of Tomorrow