Nowadays, people have a lot of time for bands like Wicketkeeper. While clearly taking influences from a bygone era of fuzzy and raw guitar hooks that seemed to plague the 90s and early 00s indie-rock scene, there is something refreshingly uplifting about hearing groups looking to bring that rough-around-the-edge sound back to the main stage arena. And so after a few short months of building up their reputation for sharp and vibrant guitar-pop offerings, the London-via-Margate trio deliver their much-hyped debut album 'Shonk', a bright and bouncing collection of danceable ditties.
Fans that will remember a more rustic time within the 00s indie-rock genre will no doubt bring up names like Johnny Foreigner and Los Campesinos!, and it is this largely forgettable time that Wicketkeeper are looking to emulate on their first full-length. And while this band will probably suffer a similar fate a decade down the line, right now they are looking to share a fresh batch of upbeat delights that are nothing more than a quick break from the world outside. There isn't too much longterm appeal to these songs but they certainly manage to create an air of buoyant joy on almost every cut here.
From start to finish, 'Shonk' sets itself as an energetic yet scruffy collection of throwaway romps that are more about enjoying the moment we are in, rather than bracing for anything more ambitious and multifaceted down the line. In a way, this release acts as a 14-track break from the monotony of over-produced and glossy pop-rock LPs we have endured these last few years, and for that we give thanks.