Album Review: The Wombats – Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

Released 9th January 2018

Words: Caleb Curtis

There’s few bands out there who fronted the post-punk movement in the 2000s and are still around to tell the tale. The Wombats can boast this feat, however, with the release of their fourth album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life landing over ten years after their debut. Even more impressive, perhaps, is that their latest effort encapsulates everything that made their earlier albums so refreshing: shimmering guitar riffs, down-to-Earth lyrics, and youthful melodies that have a penchant for cementing themselves firmly in your brain. It’s another great effort from a band who are ageing far more gracefully than they have any right to be.
Album opener Cheetah Tongue sets an appropriate precedent for what can be expected from the latest release. Its tunefully syncopated bass line is a warm welcome, followed by a punchy sing-along chorus. It’s a reassurance – The Wombats are back, and they’re back with a bang. Immediately after comes Lemon to a Knife Fight, the first single to be released and arguably an album standout. Although not ferocious in tone – its still about as breezy as you’d expect from the Liverpudlian three-piece – the lyrics here are playfully argumentative. With the chorus documenting an account of a domestic incident, it’s packed with the kind of kitchen-sink witticism you would expect from Murphy and co. by now: “I push and you tend to shove/I give in and you don’t give up/I’m not getting out of here this time/I brought a lemon to a knife fight.” Preceding all this is a punchy instrumental introduction, one that it’s hard to imagine not going down a treat at this Summer’s festivals.
Lead singer Matthew Murphy’s impressive range continues to be utilised throughout, too, especially on the pre-chorus of White Lies, a track that is possibly the biggest departure from their signature sound. What grounds it in familiarity are its tongue-in-cheek lyrics once again – with reference to a heart being twisted like a Rubik’s Cube, there remains little doubt what band is being listened to. Likewise, the comparatively slower Turn wouldn’t have been out of place on 2015’s Glitterbug, and boasts some of the album’s most memorable lines, too: “you could give an aspirin the headache of its life”. There’s few tracks here that aren’t single worthy.
Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life is exactly what you’ve come to expect from The Wombats by now. It’s not much of a departure from their usual sound, but when their sound is this good, it’s hard to complain. Prepare for this to be the soundtrack of your Summer.
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