‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’ is a true album of two halves
A decade on from The Wombats first outing and album four, ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’ has arrived on our doorstep. 11 new tracks from Murph and Co. but not much has changed from the early days.
‘Cheetah Tongue’ opens, a sly banger with tonnes more style than ‘… To Joy Division’ could ever muster. A truly danceable indie pop banger built for festival stages, a story of forlorn love from Murph gives the tune a classic Wombats lyric. ‘Lemon To A Knife Fight’ is another pure dreed, nothing much has changed from ‘A Guide To…’ or ‘This Modern Glitch’ days, in sound or story. A toxic relationship spins out of control “I’m unhinged and you’re undone/ I’m not getting out of here alive/ I bought a lemon to a knife fight”.
In my opinion ‘Turn’ is the best track of ‘Beautiful People…’ by far, a sleek atmospheric guitar line leads us into a quality opening line from Murph. “I jump from thought to thought, like a flea jumps to a light. You could give an aspirin’ the headache of its life”. A mysterious synth line builds into a chorus that could be the perfect soundtrack to a ‘will they, won’t they’ storyline.
‘Black Flamingo’ has a cool fuzzy guitar line and feels like a summer drive, a happy joyous sounding track that hides a darker side of misery and trying to love/ live with yourself. “Wherever I go, I’m there indefinitely”, but “we break our legs and then hit the dancefloor” is still a fantastic line thought.
Sadly, the album goes downhill from there, ‘Beautiful People..’ goes from YAAY! To Meh very quickly. ‘Lethal Combination’ is bland, ‘Ice Cream’ has an interesting The Cure style vibe but its ruined by the sludge chorus. The chorus is fine on its own but paired together they just don’t work, it’s a real shame. The Wombats try their very best at a take on a Strokes homage with ‘I Only Wear Black’ but it falls flat, Tord’s bassline overpowers the finely tuned guitar. The homage morphs into more of a strange Strokes imitation spliced together with Muse’s ‘Supermassive Black Hole’.
In the end ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’ is a true album of two halves, the first handful of tracks are bangers coated with enough early Wombats to keep the original fans happy and show growth and maturity at the same time. Unfortunately, the other half runs out of ideas or they are half-baked, leading to filler tracks like ‘Lethal Combination’