You can tell a lot about someone by the company that they keep. Or so they say. If the same is true about bands, then one that has shared stages with the likes of Buffalo Tom, Wilco, Semisonic and The Jayhawks is a band to hold in high esteem.

Back after a twenty-year hiatus, The Wonsers had re-released 1996’s You Never Knew Me When I Was Young 2.0, and whilst it does sound like a blast from the past in some respects, it also feels like a much-needed shot in the arm to modern music, which probably says something about how music has fared in the intervening years.

Anything that sounds like early REM, which the opening track Skyline Bridge does, is fine by me, spacious, melodic, odd, infectious – and oddly infectious. Mess is all raw riffing and bass-driven groove, a song revisited as a live swansong for the EP from back in the day, and Montana is slow, seductive, and full of dynamic playoffs.

A great set of songs, a reminder of a more buoyant musical time (in my humble opinion) and a perfect calling card for the band’s return. It’s great to have them back.

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