Wakefield often has a bit of a bad reputation, so, five years ago, ‘Rhubarb Bomb’ was created as a fanzine to prove otherwise. To celebrate 5 years of great music writing, they’ve compiled 19 tracks by Wakefield bands that they’ve written about over the years to create ‘The City Consumes Us’. When you listen through the album, you’ll soon come to realize that there is more to Wakefield is brewing a lot of talent.
Pylon is the first band on the compilation with an acoustic version of ‘Says Al’, which was originally recorded in 1999 and re-recorded recently for this album. Now separated, the former-Pylon musicians recorded their parts from around the world. ‘Says Al’ is the perfect first track, with its sweet, carefree lyrics coloured by uplifting harmonies.
Alongside the other 18 bands are Wakefield’s prize jewel, The Cribs, with a demo version of ‘Things aren’t gonna change’ as the second track. The rough-and-ready quality of the track fits nicely into the compilation, reminding the audience that before their well-deserved fame, The Cribs were just another local band playing in Wakefield pubs.
Track nine is ‘This Town’ by The Whippets, which is all about growing up in Wakefield. The most effective part of the song is the verses, containing spoken anecdotes behind a slick drumbeat. Until now, this song was never released, despite being written in 2007.
Another stand-out track is ‘At 21’ by Little Japanese Toy (now split), recorded in 2001. Incorporating strings, drums, keyboards and electronics, each section of the track progresses from a country-feel at the beginning to an epic alternative-electro sound at the end.
The final track is ‘James says He wishes you well’ by IMP and Mi Mye, Jamie (a.k.a. Mi Mye) was also in ‘Little Japanese Toy’. This laid-back, cathartic track with male and female vocals singing in unison and distorted guitars throwing out counter melodies ends the compilation with a chilled-out treat for the ears.
This album paints an exciting picture of the Wakefield music scene. From the punk, angsty attitude of Runaround Kids, to the catchy, shout-out-loud chorus to ‘Cauliflower’ by Protectors, there is something for everyone to listen to, cliché but true.
After looping the album around for hours, it’s inevitable that the one thought you’ll have when you eventually press the ‘stop’ button is: “I had no idea that there was talent like this in Wakefield.”