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

2 min read
photo: Tom Oxley / Warner Music Australia

The Wombats seem to be the only band to have survived the early noughties era of landfill indie. Far from falling by the wayside like their counterparts Pigeon Detectives et al, 2018 sees the release of these Liverpool lad’s fourth album. Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life maintains the early spirit that catapulted The Wombats to indie icons, choosing to carve out their own landscape rather than follow the lay of the land.

 Opener Cheetah Tongue isn’t an obvious choice to welcome fans into a new record, the pace is steady rather than exciting. It’s disappointing to know a band capable of writing bangers are still banking on their early appeal rather than engaging new fans with fresh material. The song titles get even stranger, as dictated by title Lemon To A Knife Fight. There a flourishes of The Wombats breaking out of their new found pastel monotony, but they are stopping way below that glass ceiling.

It’s Turn that finally brings The Wombats to the level we all know they’re capable of reaching. The chorus is big enough to warrant indie disco spins, festival singalongs and long car rides; it’s where The Wombats should be at this stage of their career. Lethal Combination is another nod to the good old days, as frontman Murph leads a nostalgic indie amnesty revival.

I Only Wear Black is a song that no one who only wears black will ever enjoy, but only because it’s a colourful remembrance of a one time trip to the sunny land of Los Angeles. Any song called Dip You In Honey either needs to be super sexy or super gimmicky, sadly The Wombats haven’t fallen into either of these camps and the result is a Friends theme song wannabe that doesn’t do the excellent title any justice.

Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life sees a band at an important crossroads in their lives, having been written in the members three different locations there is a disconnect in creativity. Where once The Wombats brought their A game every time, we’re left feeling as though they have actually brought a lemon to a knife fight.