The Wombats – Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life
Released: February 9th, 2018
Matthew Murphy – Guitars | Lead Vocals
Dan Haggis – Drums
Tom Knudsen – Guitars | Vocals
The Wombats Online:
It’s been two years since The Wombats last release. Expectations and excitement are at an all time high and fans are in desperate need for those gloriously awkward relatable lyrics the band has been promising with every album for a little over a decade. Hits such as ‘Lets Dance To Joy Division’ and ‘Moving To New York‘ set a new bar for Britpop that The Wombats have been raising with every release and new album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life is in no way an exception to this.
The album starts with the second single release and the perfect tone setter ‘Cheetah Tongue’. I’ve built a very weird relationship with this song; when thinking about it, it’s clearly the most boring song on the album. However I keep having that moment where that specific vibe the band goes for in it’s surrealist imagery, is exactly what I’m looking for in any given moment. ‘Lemon To A Knife Fight’ was the perfect first single and encapsulated the classic Wombats sound in such a way that got everyone excited for new music while ‘Cheetah Tongue‘ eased everyone into a slightly more experimental sound. It has the dance around the room element, the lyrics that are kind of confusing yet still somehow relatable, even the classic catchy guitar riff. It’s the classic Wombats song.
The Wombats have a talent in capturing that feeling of pure nostalgia, even if you can’t exactly place the moment you’re drawing the feeling from. ‘Turn’ encapsulates this talent. Filling you with the urge to go on road tripip with six of your closest friends and recapture your youth. I’d honestly say that this is one of the highlights of the record. Swiftly following this is ‘Black Flamingo’ and ‘White Eyes’; although it kills me to say this, these two tracks as pure filler. Nothing to write home about except that ‘White Eyes‘ has a guitar line right out of an Arctic Monkeys album.
‘Lethal Combination’ is the perfect combination (pardon the pun) of classic Wombats and element of their new sound; Although quite laid back in tone the song has the charm of an old friend and promises that it’ll accompany your lonely soul as you pine over that crush you’ve had for way too long to admit. Contrastingly ‘Out Of My Head’ is a complete departure of the bands old sound yet is the perfect example of what they were going for and will likely move towards in the future. The choice to feature guitars a lot more prominently really works in the songs favour and really has me excited to see it performed live.
‘I Only Wear Black’ and ‘Ice Cream’ are given a similar treatment in terms of prominent guitars. Notably the bass line in ‘Ice Cream’ is just gorgeous. It’s in these songs that the band really shows off their storytelling style of lyricism which isn’t something you realize the album is missing until it comes back in full swing. It’s not to say the rest of the album doesn’t hold the charm it usually does, but in ‘Ice Cream‘ especially we’re treated to the unique style like a surprise from an old friend; it’s very understated yet effective.
Tying the album off into a neat little package we have ‘Dip You In Honey’ and ‘I Don’t Know Why I Like You But I Do’. It’s a very fitting end and I can’t exactly place why. ‘Dip You In Honey‘ almost feels like the soundtrack behind the credits of a movie. In this sense it’s a very clean ending and does it’s job nicely. That being said, they shoot themselves in the foot; the song is such a good ending that it doesn’t really stand alone particularly well. While it’s a good song, it isn’t the go to song on the album by far. ‘I Don’t Know Why I Like You’, consequently feels like a bonus track, but I’m so glad it there. It’s dramatic, it’s weird, it’s relatable and it’s a little meta and I love it. It’s so intrinsically them that any fan of the band will finish the album with the humble feeling that even if they’re moving in some new directions, they are still very much The Wombats. So all up they don’t really end on a bang, but they do finish with a whole album that as a collective work stands up to the rest of their discography while successfully sets up a future growth in sound.
The Wombats play a hard game every time they release new music because their first album was as influential as it was. That being said in this case although they may lose some listeners, I think they’re angling their sound in a direction that allows for a lot of growth and a lot of new listeners. Although the sound at some points goes through some growing pains, I think overall they’ve done really well with this album and I’m incredibly excited to see how it’s executed live.
The Wombats – Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life trackinglist:
- Cheetah Tongue
- Lemon To A Knife Fight
- Black Flamingo
- White eyes
- Lethal Combination
- Out Of My Head
- I Only Wear Black
- Ice Cream
- Dip You In Honey
- I Don’t Know Why I Like You But I Do