Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Wombats make a grand return with ‘Fix Yourself, Not the World’

The Wombats have been a staple of the British indie scene for the past fifteen years, earning praise for songs like ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ and ‘Moving to New York’

Their newest release ‘Fix Yourself, Not the World’ was first conceived in 2019 when the band wrote several songs together before the album was recorded remotely with each band member in a different city. 

Despite the band’s distance whilst producing the album, they manage to come together to deliver that unique Wombats sound with their newest release.

The album starts with ‘Flip Me Upside Down’, coming equipped with a fast tempo and groovy bass licks, it sets the tone of the album well. Matthew Murphy comes in with his instantly recognizable vocals followed by a powerful bass drum as the track blurs the line between indie and alt-rock. It’s a great piece that showcases The Wombats' ability to take the best bits from multiple genres of music and bring them all together to deliver a cohesive listening experience. 

Whilst ‘Flip Me Upside Down’ came in swinging with its hard-hitting bass drum and fast-paced beat, ‘This Car Drives All By Itself’ takes a much more different tone, starting with just an acoustic guitar and a touch of reverb on Murphy’s vocals. The track almost feels like a nod to Radiohead, one of Matthew Murphys’ biggest inspirations. The synth here feels like something straight out of the 1980s, and the song as a whole has an ooze of nostalgia about it. 

‘If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming With You’ is the track the band chose to showcase the album’s launch, and it's easy to see why. The song comes straight in with the group's most distinguishing feature—Murphy’s vocals. On top of this, the track's cheery vibes complete with intricate synths help demonstrate what listeners should expect from the album. The song is instantly recognisable as a Wombats composition, and yet, it still manages to showcase the bands' ability to develop and refine their sound.

‘Don’t Poke The Bear’ is a notable standout piece from the album. It begins with a catchy drum beat that shares some resemblance to some Kaiser Chief rhythms. The harder rock sound mixed with the catchy backing vocals really helps to elevate the song and make it stand out from the rest. ‘Don’t Poke The Bear’ is a fantastic track where the drums take the centre stage and provide a great foundation for the vocals, guitar, and bass to build up from.

‘Fix Yourself, Then the World (Reach Beyond Your Fingers)’ closes off the album, and it feels rightfully suited to do so. The piece feels as if it’s bracing you for the inevitable end and the use of reverb on Murphy’s vocals almost sounds as if they were recorded in space. The record has taken us to some extreme highs, but now it’s time for us to return to earth, and this track feels like it’s doing exactly that. A lot is going on in this song, from the piano, harmonicas, drums and Murphy’s vocals all coming together to deliver a melodic sound that marks the end of a stellar album.

‘Fix Yourself, Not the World’ is a fantastic album that manages to showcase The Wombats' ability to remain a staple household name in the indie scene, and yet ‘Fix Yourself, Not the World’ doesn’t really feel like an indie album. Its heavy use of synths and lo-fi sounds allows the record to stand out from the rest. Complete with that classic Wombats sound, it'll be an album that'll see many more listens yet.


Liam Russell


Image: ‘Fix Yourself, Not the World’ Official Album Cover

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