February has come around and The Wombats are here to start thawing the worst of the UK winter with their new album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life. The Wombats are a band associated closely with glistening sunshine, bouncing around and in general, the summer. 2015’s Glitterbug was a darker cut than The Wombats had produced before and this album seems to be no different, following the darker themes down the rabbit hole to come out more fantastically twisted.
Opening number ‘Cheetah Tongue’ is a psychadelic pop trip through not coping with the pressures of adulthood, front man Murph explains. The soothing melodies will transport the listener back through the era of The Modern Glitch whilst the lyrics keep the same kooky love-song-but-not-a-love-song vibe about them as The Wombats have always had, with lyrics like ‘my hands shake like jellyfish when you’re near’.
Rattling through ‘Lemon to a Knife Fight’ we come to second single and still the standout track from Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, ‘Turn’. Between driving bass and a background of ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s it’s clear that this track will sit well amongst the likes of ‘Techno Fan and ‘1996’ in the back catalogue. As always with The Wombats there are standalone lines that are so simple but create such intense imagery such as ‘I think I saw the world turn in your eyes’ that just knock me back.
Where in previous album it’s been easy to pinpoint the highs and lows, on Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life tracks like ‘Lethal Combination’ and ‘I Only Wear Black’ keep the album on a clear course with little in the way of a bumpy road. The latter despite having dark lyrical themes still has a spring in it’s step.
Lyrically there’s a feeling of loss overall, not literally but there’s definitely something different. It’s been pinpointed by various other publications as Murph and co. getting older which is pretty accurate. Gone are the days of songs about ‘a gender I’ll never understand’ and ‘she bangs the sense out of me’. It’s inevitable that The Wombats would get older and if anything it’s more respectable that they’re writing about love with their new found maturity rather than still pretending they’re twenty one *cough All Time Low cough*.
It’s clear to see that The Wombats are ageing gracefully. While they accept that what worked on Marsupials may no longer be viable options they’ve tactfully retained their quirky and zany style as a band. In songs like ‘Cheetah Tongue’ and particularly ‘Ice Cream’ there’s a visible difference in the more mature writing and song structure. As time goes on I’m sure the threesome shall go on to become even wiser, as the overlords of indie.