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Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life *
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Performer Notes
  • Audio Mixer: Rich Costey.
  • Recording information: Dan's Flat; One Eyed Jack's; Stable Studios, Oslo; The Pool and Assault & Battery 2.
  • The Wombats are the best early-'90s Brit-pop band you've never heard. At least that's the overriding vibe on their fourth studio album, 2018's Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life. Produced by Mark Crew (Bastille, Rationale) and Catherine Marks (the Killers, Wolf Alice), the album features much of what has endeared the Liverpool trio to fans; especially vocalist/guitarist Matthew Murphy's literate, tongue-in-cheek self-awareness, which remains firmly intact. "You could give an aspirin the headache of its life," he croons on the opening "Cheetah Tongue." Musically, the band is in crisp from, delving into a swirling batch of post-punk-tinged anthems, many punctuated by Murphy's wiry guitars, drummer Dan Haggis' kinetic rhythms, and bassist Tord Overland-Knudsen's driving, club-ready bass grooves. On the best of these tracks, the Wombats excel, delivering psychedelia-infused jams that are equal parts White Album-era Beatles and Modern Life Is Rubbish-era Blur. That "Dip You in Honey" sounds like XTC doing a mash-up of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and Roxette's "The Look" feels utterly, divinely intentional. Elsewhere, "Cheetah Tongue" borrows from U2's Achtung Baby, much in the same way U2 borrowed from their Madchester contemporaries back in the '90s. Similarly, tracks like "Lemon to a Knife Fight" and "Black Flamingo" have a punky, off-kilter, new wave vibe that brings the Pixies to mind. ~ Matt Collar
Professional Reviews
NME (Magazine) - "[T]his 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."
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