For some reason I had the idea that Wake the President had broken up. You don’t hear from a band for a couple years in these days of instant information and you assume the worst. Actually they kind of did disband sometime after releasing their first album You Can’t Change that Boy in 2009. They may have temporarily disbanded but when the president and vice president are twins you regroup and make a second record anyway, and that is what Erik and Bjorn Sandberg did. The brothers have just released their second album Zumutung! on their own label We Can Still Picnic.
Being a band from Glasgow, Scotland they innately know how to balance jangle, twee and bombast into a record. Since this is their second record they have settled down from the impulsive adolescence of the debut. Zumutung is also not so obvious in revealing its influences. Before you could tell they loved Orange Juice, now it’s not so obvious. The bouncy Elaine is the one song that could easily have fit on their debut, but overall the mood of the record is darker and introspective. They now have songs with the paisley jangle of the Close Lobsters in She Fell Into My Arms and In Youth There Is Pleasure. They also have a newfound side to them which is more intense that reminds me of the Delgados on songs like E.T and Sort of Blonde. Former Delgados drummer Paul Savage produced the record and it seems like he has brought his former band’s moodiness into the mix. It makes Zumutung! a more interesting and enduring record. It isn’t as immediate as the their debut, but it has a plan and a pace to it that gradually wins you over.
Watch: Wake the President – Elaine