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

Words by Skye Demar

With a sold out UK tour on the horizon, Liverpool trio The Wombats have seen huge success in the past few years. Following the success of Glitterbug, which reached the UK Top 5, the group have returned with eleven-track album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life. This highly anticipated album seems to have moved far from the band’s youthful indie rock debut back in 2007. Heavy layering of synths and bouncing basslines bring this album to life, with a likeness to their previous album.

The Wombats artwork

The album kicks off with the psychedelic sounding riff – ‘Cheetah Tongue’ sounds unlike anything The Wombats have given us before. In the band’s true style, the song seems to be referring to the difficulties of the responsibilities of adulthood. Perhaps, this song reminds us that none of us actually know what we’re supposed to be doing – and that’s absolutely okay.

The album’s first single, ‘Lemon to a Knife Fight’ has had a great response from fans, with streams already amounting to well over three million. Beginning with a fast paced and undeniably catchy guitar riff, the band satisfy the fans’ expectation of a fun indie song to move to. Coupled with frontman Matthew Murphy’s satirical, honest lyrics, this hit feels raw and honest. Despite the negativity evoked from the song’s references to a relationship argument and being somewhat hopeless, the song’s beat and satirical tone cleverly makes this soon feel like a fun hit.

Following this, the juxtaposing slower and steady ‘Turn’ begins with a crescendo of a melody which wouldn’t seem out of place on Glitterbug, coupled with loving lyrics – “It won’t get better than this” invokes a definite sense of nostalgia. The bittersweet melancholy of ‘Lethal Combination’ feels like a completely honest song about Murph’s relationship, in which him and his other half continually “fuck each other up”, reportedly being his partner’s favourite song off the album. Lead by Murphy’s distinctive vocals, this relatively short song remains memorable as the catchy chorus kicks in, with the satirical statement “Every silver lining has a cloud”.

With a similar tone to The Wombats’ previous records, this album often refers to the messiness of life, mental health and loss of control, which is juxtaposed to feelings of genuine love and euphoric melodies. Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life yet again shows the three-piece mature and evolve, showing a similar yet different sound, whilst the messages and lyrics of each song stay true to the band’s indie rock roots. The band have evolved drastically from the likes of their debut album, yet the catchy riffs and cleverly satirical lyrics still hold on to The Wombats’ past.