Release Date: Feb 10, 2014
Record label: Fortuna Pop
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
The lads in Let's Wrestle made their name as awkward goofs with a record collection that started and ended in the early '90s -- right around the time of Seamonsters. They made a couple of records of humorous, adolescent indie, one produced in a stroke of genius by Steve Albini, and it seemed like they'd keep on trucking like that forever. Much like the high school kid who goes away to college, discovers some new bands, and comes back a little looser and willing to experiment musically, their self-titled third album shows the band growing up quite a bit.
For a group whose debut single revelled in the minutiae of the ‘80s British wrestling scene, Let’s Wrestle’s Steve Albini-recorded 2011 album ‘Nursing Home’ brought a surprising and pronounced American influence to their sound. But singer-guitarist Wesley Patrick Gonzalez doesn’t want to be in Hüsker Dü any more. Instead, the group’s third LP finds them kicking around the London suburbs, working with the sort of lush horn and string arrangements that can only ever indicate a stab at maturity.
Gradually, they’re growing up. Like awkward teenagers, the gawky, slightly nerdy generation of indie-pop bands from the past decade are leaving behind their silly banter and half-sung half-hollered vocals, and graduating to a style of greater restraint. Art Brut grew up when their frontman, Eddie Argos, stopped shouting about records and naked women and learned how to sing, something he credited to Frank Black.
Let’s Wrestle are an indie band, nothing more, nothing less. There’s no way you can read too much into their bum notes, bad hair and witty lyrics, and there’s no need to. Music should, first and foremost, be enjoyed rather than dissected. The group are from the past, a past of torn cardigans and tape cassettes.
Life seems to have taken its toll on Wesley Patrick Gonzalez. On this, Let’s Wrestle’s third full-length, when he utters ‘Codeine and Marshmallows” plaintive declaration that ‘I don’t know how to get home’, he’s clearly yearning less for a map than a guiding hand. This could well be due in no small part to the extra responsibility the frontman has taken upon himself during the making of the self-titled record, obsessing over his expanding musical vision.
Half a decade on from their winsome indie-rock debut In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s, the London quartet are to drop their Fortuna POP! debut, which is eponymous, and their third LP in total. Continuing the theme of having amazing producers assist them in the studio – their sophomore record, Nursing Home, had Steve Albini twiddling knobs – Let’s Wrestle have enlisted Test Icicles alum Rory Atwell, more recently famous for steering The Vaccines, to guide them through the process. The wonderfully titled “Codeine and Marshmallows” serves as lead single.