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Album Review: Love Fame Tragedy – Life Is A Killer

2 min read
Album Review: Love Fame Tragedy - Life Is A Killer

Mathew Murphy, AKA, Murph, is a well-established name in the indie rock sphere. Front man and predominant songwriter of The Wombats, Murph has seen a steady but impactful growth over the past decade. His first solo record back in 2020 served as an initial taste of his process away from his usual collaborators, and now just over four-years later he’s back with new album Life Is A Killer.

The album begins with the peppy Don’t You Want To Sleep With Someone Normal? a song that is equally as catchy as it is confessional. Its inclusion of recorded conversations begins an element that comes back later on, and overall it begins the record on a strong note. The following track Slipping Away takes the same template but embraces a dance groove and fuzzier guitar passages. Indie rock aesthetics take over for the next few track, It’s OK To Be Shallow and If You Don’t, the latter a mid-tempo piano ballad mixing Murph’s visceral lyrics and a childlike high-key melody after the chorus that almost connects the brief sample at the very start – a child asking for cookies for dinner.

Instrumental w/voice note is an ironic addition to the track list, especially with the final track being the same song without the aforementioned note attached. The speaker mocks Murph, talking about her concerns with him asking her for voice notes so that she can be turned into the villain of the album. It’s a self-referential moment that leads into the upbeat title track Life Is A Killer. The breezy piece of pop rock is followed by two of the album highlights, Tangerine Milkshake and Ain’t No Need To Try. Both are Murph at his most recognisable musically and lyrically, the former especially being reminiscent of The Wombats 2018 album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life. Australian band The Jungle Giants appear on the penultimate track Eat, Fuck, Sleep, Forever, adding a shimmer both in the instrumental and in the backing vocals. The final song Maybe I Should? is a last minute highlight, incorporating elements from all the previous songs but framing it in an early 2000s acoustic rock angle. It’s a sweet ending to an overly upbeat record. 

Life Is A Killer is an album that both meets the expectations of fans and elevates the already well-established sound of Love Fame Tragedy. It’s an album of few surprises, but one that succeeds in delivering big sing-along anthems and cosy numbers, and is a much more cohesive and compact listen than the first.