Andy Jones reviews White Glue, the sophomore effort from Wrangler, which builds on the experimental foundations of their debut whilst tackling a broader range of genres…
This sort of ‘electronic supergroup’ features former Cabaret Voltaire member Stephen Mallinder, Tunng’s Phil Winter and Ben ‘Benge’ Edwards, who owns one of the finest analogue synth collections in the UK. The band’s debut album, LA Spark (2014), saw the trio aiming to use a different one of Edwards’ vintage machines on each song, as an over-arching recording concept, and the results of the experiment were mesmerising. This follow-up sees them eschewing any self-imposed conceptual constraints and taking aim at a broader range of genres.
The album’s opener, Alpha Omega, and Clockwork layer heaps of electronic atmosphere on top of Mallinder’s affected vocals and combination is perhaps where Wrangler work best. Latter-period Cabaret Voltaire fans will lap up the like of Dirty and Stop, where funk and guitar swirl in and out behind Mallinder’s distinctive vocals. Overall, Wrangler are an updated techno version of ‘the Cabs’ – of course they are – who work best when the machines rock, which thankfully, on tracks like Real Life, they often do.