Tag Archives: albums

ALBUM REVIEW: Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life // The Wombats

In case you hadn’t heard, The Wombats are back.

They’ve been spoiling us over these last few weeks with singles such as Turn, Cheetah Tongue, and, most recently, Black Flamingo since their initial single release of Lemon To A Knife Fight off this, their fourth studio album.

But now, finally, their album is upon us as of Friday. Three years after their last album was released, was Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life worth the wait?

In short, yes.

The first four tracks on the album are the four singles: instant recognition, guaranteed head-nodding, potential lyric belting (especially on Turn, an indisputable feel-good, sing-along tune). For me, this was a very strong start to the album, although also a bit risky: once these four tracks are over, I am thrust into the album proper, with no hope of an upcoming track whose familiarity I can take comfort in.

It’s lucky, then, that the first unknown track, White Eyes, is catchy as all hell, featuring familiar Wombats-esque playfulness with their new ‘grown-up’ edge which they seem to have adopted for this album, no doubt a consequence of trading in Liverpool for Los Angeles, something which Murphy touches on in I Only Wear Black.

While we’re on the subject of catchy tracks, which by now we all know is The Wombats’ bread and butter, some notable mentions must be made for Lethal Combination, Dip You In Honey and Ice Cream, with all of these tracks having successfully nested into my brain after just a couple of listens, and Dip You In Honey quenching my thirst for some twangly guitars, falsettos and Beatles style riffs.

As far as moodier songs are concerned on this album, you would think I Only Wear Black would be a contender from the title, but this one is surprisingly upbeat and dripping with their usual sardonic lyricism. Instead, I would say their moodiest track on the album is the finale, I Don’t Know Why I Like You but I Do. But, think less Isabel from Glitterbug and more Anti-D from This Modern Glitch. Its lyrics are heartfelt and candid, but the track is still punchy, with the mounting guitars and drums from verse to chorus being one of those things in music that you can’t quite put your finger on. Something about the way the highs and lows marry together, the way the tension builds and the song’s identity transforms from one thing to another creates some sensation that you can’t vocalise. I don’t know why I like it, but I do.

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The Balcony – Catfish and the Bottlemen

Release Date: 12th September 2014

Rating: 8/10

Let’s go way back to August 2013, Catfish and the Bottlemen were seen performing on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds festival. Almost 2 years on and they’re still growing, playing at numerous festivals in the upcoming weeks, having a sold out UK tour, and apparently also having lots more content which they are planning on releasing in the coming months.

Influenced by the likes of The Beatles and Oasis, Catfish and the Bottlemen are a four piece, fronted by Van McCann, formed in Llandudno in 2007. Their debut album ‘The Balcony’, was released in September 2014, and reached number 10 in the UK charts.

Homesick, their first single was released in 2013. It was written by Van, evidently talking about the strain of being away from his girlfriend whilst he was touring.  Then there is ‘Kathleen’, inevitably the bands most popular/well known song, hitting number 11 in the UK Indie Chart. The band also have become close friends with actor Ewan McGregor, he featured in the music video for ‘Hourglass’ another of the 11 songs on this album, it’s one of the slower more acoustic ones.  ‘The Balcony’ also consists of other songs such as ’26’, ‘fallout’ and ‘Rango’ which was written about Van trying to win back an ex-girlfriend, are we seeing a trend here? Many of the songs were written when Van was still in his teens. Van has even said many of the songs on the album are ‘from all over the place really’.

The song ‘Kathleen’ uses lyrics such as “I gotta give it to you, you give me problems when you are not in the mood.”, the lyrics in ‘Homesick’ include, “I said, ‘i’m only looking out for you,’ she said, ‘it’s obvious that’s a lie'”. These are all lyrics you can almost hear the large crowds at their concerts singing along with. Catfish and the Bottlemen have evidently written lyrics that an audience will love, and also enable them relate to the mood of which the band are portraying especially when performing them live.

Tyrants is the final song on the album, and they have clearly put their all into this track. Not only is it the last song, but it is also the longest of all 11 tracks on the album at a length of 4 minutes and 41 seconds. It starts off quite slowly and then gets louder with the use of guitars and banging of drums, giving the song a dramatic opening. The song gets  increasingly  louder and more intense over the duration, until the end when it just completely cuts off. This leaves you wanting more, and I certainly can’t wait to hear more from this band.