As an ex 2013 Tumblr teenager, The Wombats’ fifth studio album, Fix Yourself, Not the World, released on January
7th 14th, is one of my most anticipated 2022 releases. The Wombats formed in their native Liverpool in 2003 and have been a pillar of indie rock for the past 2 decades with no signs of faltering. Unlike many of their fellow 10’s alt rock bands, The Wombats are actually gaining traction with younger generations – Greek Tragedy (2015), Kill the Director (2007), Let’s Dance to Joy Division (2007), and Line Without a Hook (2016) have all gone viral on TikTok in the past two years.
Despite (or perhaps in ignorance of) their expansion into a new and younger audience, Fix Yourself, Not the World is The Wombats’ most authentic album in a decade. After experimenting with a more pop-y sound on Glitterbug (2015), The Wombats seemed to lose their footing. Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life (2018), aside from Turn and Lethal Combination, was ultimately disappointing. Luckily for fans (old and new), Matthew Murphy (frontman and guitarist), Tord Øverland Knudson (bassist), and Dan Haggis (drummer) seem to have found themselves again.
Fix Yourself, Not the World is a true pandemic-era album; recorded from three different cities (LA, Oslo, and London) with the help of 5 different producers. Murphey, the band’s primary songwriter, pulls two years of quarantine, political unrest, and personal adversity into 41 incredibly relatable (but not too on-the-nose) minutes. This is a record that will outlast the uncertainty that inspired it.
Method to the Madness, the first single off Fix Yourself, Not the World, was released in May followed by If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming With You, Ready for the High, and Everything I Love Is Going to Die. The Wombats have already seen industry success with If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming With You – the single, inspired by the pandemic’s pressure on relationships, was nominated for Radio X Record of the Year and was BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds Hottest Record in the World.
Other tracks off the album, like Work Is Easy, Life Is Hard, Worry, and the concluding track Fix Yourself, Then The World also acknowledge the trials of the past two years in a more obvious light. In Work Is Easy, Life Is Hard Murphey pokes fun at performative activism and political divisiveness – “I’m going to need you all to raise your voice / But if it doesn’t sound like mine please abstain.”
The opener Flip Me Upside Down is a personal favorite and absolutely bursting with the clever, catchy lyricism and addictive beat that have grown to define The Wombats. Lyrics like “I don’t want to sit around and just get high / Dwelling on the past just kills the vibe” Murphey creates the perfect hook that’ll be stuck in your brain for days.
Fix Yourself, Not the World is cathartic. It’s the album The Wombats needed to put out to re-establish themselves, and it’s the album some of us need to help make sense of the past two years – in a “let’s scream about it in a car park at 2 am” kind of way.
The Wombats have a jam-packed year ahead of them. This month they kick off a nearly 6 month long world tour around the UK, United States, Europe, and Australia (Tickets here*). On April 15th, the band will play their biggest ever headline show at the O2 in London, and will play Reading and Leeds Festival this summer in the second to top time slot.
Fix Yourself, Not The World is available on digital and limited edition physical formats*.