Indie guitar band The Wombats release their fourth album this week.
FOTF has been fortunate to have a copy to listen to.
Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life is the follow up to the successful Glitterbug that charted at No 5 her in the UK.
The band met back in 2003, in Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, in a few short years they had released several EP’s before releasing their debut album A Guide to Love Loss and Desperation in 2007. The band consists of guitarist/vocalist Matt Murhy, Drummer Dan Haggis and bass player Tord Overland Knudson. The trio exploded on the guitar led indie scene of the noughties making a considerable impact.
Fast forward to 2016 and the guys came together f0r a writing session in Oslo, where Tord now resides, Dan, from London, and Matt from LA. All three had wanted to get a new album out soon after Glitterbug. Matt has said of the session
“Musically and interpersonally we’re much closer now than we were on glitterbug and I think you can hear that. A few songs on this album were the first time we’ve ever started and finished a song together from scratch in the studio”.
The album was recorded last year, during a successful year that saw the band playing many shows including high profile appearances at Reading and Leeds Festival. For the album the guys were fortunate to have renowned producers Mark Crew and Catherine Marks at the helm.
The album consists of eleven tracks, four of which have been released, Cheetah Tongue, Lemon To A Knife Edge, Turn and the recent Black Flamingo. This seems quite a lot from an album that not been released, although I’m sure it wont dent sales of the album, as this is an eagerly anticipated album considering the renewed interest in the band.
There are other tracks of interest on the album besides the singles, I Only Wear Black has already been compared to a previous hit Lets Dance to Joy Divison, to my mind they are very different tracks, but then this is from a band that’s evolved over the years, its not the same album. The four singles are clearly catchy infectious tracks that you couldn’t help, but what to sing along to, while they appear to be fun and infectious there is a darker side to the music as Matt has explained. White Eyes was written about an akward episode he’d found himself in, in New York, where he actually came close to ‘freaking out’. Out of my Head is another track about how crazy he felt things were when he first moved to LA, as Matt has explained of this track:
“It sounds like someone who could be on the brink of a nervous breakdown, which I did feel like I was at the time.”
Musically the album is a great demonstration of how the band has evolved over time, while they have stayed true to their indie roots they have incorporated keys more into creating different, more modern soundscapes, but with the catchy riffs and the lyrical content you can tell it’s them.
As with all albums there are a variety of tracks, while the first few have already been lifted as singles, I particularly liked Dip You In Honey. It’s a very different track that has a throwback feel to it, almost 70’s sounding.
This is a great album that shows a maturity, while they tried to remain close to their original indie routes they have created an album that follows a similar pattern that works catchy riffs with lyrics that typifies them as a band. The band are out on tour in march to promote the album in a months time but prior to that they can be found undertaking a short record store tour playing short sets and signing session. Another great album for the collection.