Opening any release by The Wombats is both a sense of expecting some unique jangly alt-rock and one of expecting some still jangly, but less unique indie-pop. The first track on Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life definitely holds true to that premonition. “Cheetah Tongue” is bold and it is jangly in the guitar, but a little nightclub-esque in the vocals, even scolding this indie vocal cliche’ lyrically ironically.
“Lemon To a Knife Fight” does better with this, and holds steady with a rhythm that is reminiscent of Spoon. That said, the following track, “Turn”, is even more Wombats alt-rock, and more within itself.
The group’s catches from keys or vocals are bold, but overzealous occasionally, like on obvious older songs “1996”, “Moving to New York”, or “Let’s Dance to Joy Division”, and are somewhat here, there is more drum orientation on Ruin Your Life. Starting with “Turn”, but stepping up with the bass heavy “White Eyes”, paced “Lethal Combination”, anthemic “Out of My Head”, and climaxing with the city-at-night sounding and light hearted “Ice Cream”.
The last two tracks, “Dip You In Honey” and the closing “I Don’t Know Why I Like You” are just a bit too familiar for them to fit with the rest of the songs, as the former is sappy, and the latter is obviously angry and cynical, but the songs still do something alright in their own synth-rock. Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life is still very much The Wombats alt-rock, but also bordering on post-punk, just with intermittent pauses for melodramatic pop-rock. The highs of the drums in “Ice Cream”, “White Eyes”, “Lethal Combination”, or “Turn” are worth every second of the muddiness, though.