The Teardrop Explodes remind us of just how special a band they were with the reissue of the classic ‘Wilder’
The Teardrop Explodes were one of the most notable bands to arise from the Liverpudlian take on post-punk, one that incorporated elements of psychedelia and treated the pop song format as on opportunity to challenge themselves, rather than an affront to individualist sensibilities.
Wilder, initially released in 1981, was the band’s second and (until 1990’s release of the ‘lost’ third album Everybody Wants To Shag…The Teardrop Explodes) their final studio album. Finding the band venturing into altogether darker and insular territory than their classic debut release Kilimanjaro, the quality of Wilder is just as clear now as it was 32 years ago. The bassline to The Culture Bunker is just as catchy as it was first time round, Tiny Children as poignant, No Joy evokes the same rush of adrenaline and The Great Dominions still brings chills down the neck as it draws the album to a close.
The mixture of psychedelia and pop in such a brilliantly catchy yet credible way was what set The Teardrop Explodes apart, and the vulnerability of Wilder was what set it apart in their back catalogue, Kilimanjaro was a fantastic record but Wilder was the one that truly wormed into the soul.
With the reissue a truly excellent album, the stance you sway towards is inevitably governed by the additional features. Disc two of this reissue is by no means groundbreaking – a second of searching on YouTube will provide you with a live version of Laughing Gas and if you own the reissue of Kilimanjaro then you’ve pretty much heard that exact version already. That’s not the point though. The bonus material evokes precisely the sentiment it hopes for. It’s a reminder that The Teardrop Explodes managed to fit a great number of really fine songs into their short career, more than some bands manage in a career that spans decades.
Cynicism may bite at some the moment an album is considered for reissue. Take this particular reissue, though, as a reminder that some bands are truly timeless and deserve to be introduced to a new, younger audience. The Teardrop Explodes are one such band.
Verdict: A wonderful trip down memory lane