The jubilance surrounding The Wombats’ performance this past Saturday (January 13) at The Paradise Rock Club was as invigorating as it was unexpected. In front of a sold out crowd, the Liverpool natives gleefully glided through a discography of tunes that, despite the test of time, remain brutally honest, uniquely enthralling, and undeniably catchy. Their 2007 debut album, A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation, provided a reprieve from the exhaustive nature of adolescence with its joviality and piercing self awareness. It would also make for an enjoyable portion of the evening’s set.
Songs like “Kill the Director,” “Moving to New York,” and “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” are inherently buoyant and bounced effortlessly from the lips of frontman Matthew Murphy and into the ears of concertgoers. Though they have just three albums under their belt — and a fourth, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life due out February 9 — every song felt like an instant classic. 2011’s This Modern Glitch spawned the singles “1996,” “Techno Fan,” “Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)” and “Jump Into The Fog.” The Wombats ambitiously performed them all effortlessly, with palpable amounts of precision, energy, and grace.
When it came to the dancier, more pop-infused tunes found on their third album Glitterbug, the band didn’t shy away from executing them with the same kind of fervor they had for all of their previously performed songs. “Give Me A Try” was just as smooth and amiable as it is on the record; “Pink Lemonade” and “The English Summer” were cheerful and light transitions into newer material that felt even more serene.
The forthcoming Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life symbolizes a sort of coming of age for a band that has already found its footing, but is determined to proactively court its own creative evolution. From the sultry nature of “Cheetah Tongue” to the snot-nosed tendencies found in “Lemon to a Knife Fight,” The Wombats continue to show their musical prowess through impressive multitudes.
Although we only received slivers of the newer material, “Turn” — the final song they performed from Beautiful People — was the perfect summation on a night ripe with exultation; it was refreshing, it was enchanting, and it was something you didn’t want to come to an end.
Featured photo by Candace McDuffie; follow her on Instagram @cmcduffie1.