The Wonderfuls - The Wonderfuls EP

Mike Caulfield 16/08/2006

Rating: 3/5

In a nutshel: Brighton boys The Wonderfuls mix Gomez style grooves n' blues licks with Eels-like idiosyncrasy to create an uplifting racket.

Forming in early 2005, Tom Sears (Vocals/Guitar) Jason King (Bass/Vocals) and Sam Funnell (Drums) have been playing all over the South, squeezing in over a hundred gigs since their inception, also catching the ears of a certain music weekly and getting a mention in their 'New Bands Radar' section.

'Mind over Matter' kicks things off in pleasant, bouncy fashion, with the trio masquerading as a subdued version of The Black Keys. Bluesy guitar riffs, funky, walking bass lines and Sears' occasionally lean, unremarkable vocals create the backbone of the track, on top of this there's the inclusion of a gorgeous sounding organ that ushers in the bitter chorus line of “my heart is hurting, but you're still dragging me down” which, sounds far less pessimistic on record than it does in print.

The Wonderfuls have a knack for writing direct, downbeat, yet catchy choruses, which they seem to be able to fit into each track effortlessly, regardless of the style. 'Sunshine' follows this formula, beginning as a grooving, faux blues dirge that recalls Gomez in all their earlier, pre-Mercury prize curse days.
“I can see the sunshine through the rain” sings the front man before a harsh, yet satisfying slide guitar solos comes from out of nowhere, breaking the groove slightly before disappearing again.

Final track, 'The Hillbilly Song' is a joyous number that is sure to induce plenty of excitable, silly dancing or at the very least some frantic foot tapping (whatever's your preference). Some funky riffing from Sears, some vivacious grooves from the rhythm section and the welcome return of the organ give the track a healthy swagger that is sure to make it a live favourite.

Judging from the songs on this EP, The Wonderfuls are able to create a varied mix of styles confidently, and have an inexhaustible supply of hooks and choruses.

The Wonderfuls Website