When the Wonder Stuff released their first album, The Eight Legged Groove Machine, in 1988, the British press wrote scores of articles about the band, mainly because of the arrogant self-confidence of their leader, vocalist/guitarist Miles Hunt.
Hunt's brash public image was the Wonder Stuff personified -- mean, self-satisfied, self-serving, and scathingly witty. Accordingly, their colorful mixture of pop melodies, loud guitars, sneering lyrics, and touches of dance music was sometimes brilliant and sometimes banal. Between 1988 and 1993, the band kept incorporating more stylistic flourishes to their basic, punk- and new wave-inspired pop/rock. The Wonder Stuff were instant stars in England; America never warmed to their music. After trying to gain a worldwide audience for five years, the band broke up in 1994. In the early 2000s the band regrouped to play five nights of concerts at London's Forum (as documented on the 2001 live set Cursed with Insincerity) and then continued to play festivals throughout 2001 and 2002. After some squabbles over the direction of the band, half the members quit. Hunt and original guitarist Malcolm Treece decided to carry on and, after adding Andres Karu and Mark McCarthy, recorded and released Escape from Rubbish Island in 2004 and Suspended by Stars in 2006. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
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