One senses that the duo need to learn to love themselves again.
Dennis O'Dell 2008
Equal parts geek and pop mathematicians, WAS deliver a second album that unfortunately falls way short of their splendid debut. Whether this can be blamed on the departure of drummer Michael Tapper isn't entirely clear. But the remaining duo of keith Murray and Chris Cain while still at ease churning out catchy, riff-driven pop rock are in a far less happy place.
Opening track, Ghouls gives you a warning shot with it's repeated refrain of "we all recognise that I'm the problem here". This is an album filled with self-doubt and relationship worries. It's not something that suits their quirky approach and makes it very difficult to love. This isn't to say that the construction is at fault. The synth-driven pulse of Lethal Enforcer or the arch cleverness of Altered Beast take on all the 'right' tropes from 80s art rock to Weezer-ish punk-lite grunge. Murray's guitar can be a wonderfully squallsome thing at times, too. Yet the overall sense of calculation makes it a rather lifeless document compared to the sunshine of Love And Squalor.
You know that the cynicism of Chick Lit and the anger of Tonight are all cleanly executed, yet there's little here that lifts the spirits and warms the heart. One senses that the duo need to learn to love themselves again, rather than presenting the self-loathing party personae that make their 'ironic' appearance on the cover. A big disappointment...