In a strange turn of events, The Wombats are somehow bigger than ever. A decade ago, the Liverpool trio lit up indie discos with a powerful string of singles (‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’, ‘Moving To New York’) from debut album, ‘A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation’. But just like noughties contemporaries The Courteeners, Editors and The Kooks, a fervent fanbase and a continued festival presence have kept their career ticking along nicely. Last album ‘Glitterbug’ landed them at Number Five in 2015 – their highest ever placing – and an upcoming UK tour is eyeing up arenas.
Now Murph, Dan and Tord are back to stoke the flames with ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’. Not a huge amount has changed. ‘A Guide To Love…’ and its 2011 follow-up ‘This Modern Glitch’ revelled in the absurd, and come this album’s second track, ‘Lemon To A Knife Fight’, they’re at it again: “I’m unhinged and you’re undone / I’m not getting out of here alive / I brought a lemon to a knife fight,” frontman Matthew Murphy sings, adding a surreal twist to a toxic relationship.
Mostly, though, this album is all about massive bangers. Opener ‘Cheetah Tongue’ is a psych-rock belter that will feel right at home at your nearest festival main stage. Meanwhile Strokes-esque swagger throws its weight around on ‘I Only Wear Black’, and ‘Dip You In Honey’ revels in sunny Madchester vibes.
There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but little to be ashamed of either. With their streaming numbers on a healthy incline and the venue sizes increasing with each tour, ‘Beautiful People…’ proves that there’s still life in these marsupials yet.