After enough time, almost all bands run their course. But about 30 seconds into Reboot the Mission — the lead single from Glad All Over — you realize that Jakob Dylans Wallflowers are nowhere near that point and may in fact only be scratching their surface. Its a damn fine formula for announcing a return after a seven-year studio absence: Create your own Clash track (complete with shuffle backbeat), recruit Mick Jones to play and sing on it, and insert a band roll call in the lyrics (Welcome Jack [Irons], the new drummer/ He jammed with the mighty Joe Strummer/ I see Rami, Greg, and Stuart/ I gotta say it, Jay [Joyce, producer], weve had it coming.) And its that demonstrable enthusiasm that makes Glad All Over an inspired reboot rather than a depressing retread.
Aside from the lead single and the glowing, beat-oriented standout Misfits and Lovers (also featuring Mick Jones), Glad All Over doesnt stray far from previous output but rather recharges reliable Wallflowers fare. On throwback First One in the Car, Dylans tightly bound vocals once again mingle with Rami Jaffees keyboards for that moody Wallflowers sound on a tale of Lincolns, boulevards, and underpasses — environs where in the backseat you slip/ from a girl to a woman/ in less than a minute. Other stellar tracks, like Hospital for Sinners, with its search-and-destroy drive, and The Attractions-era Costello-sounding It Wont Be Long (Till Were Not Wrong Anymore), feel like nearby destinations that the band finally chose to drive out to and explore.
Glad All Over largely succeeds because it never devolves into simply getting the old band back together. Clearly, Jakob Dylan was ready to make a rock and roll record again, and who better to turn to than his former band plus… Jack Irons? Talk about the perks of being a Wallflower.
Essential Tracks: Misfits and Lovers, Reboot the Mission, and First One in the Car