Wet Leg released their eponymous debut album (today) on April 8th, 2022, via Domino.
Why am I telling you this off the bat? So, it has come to my attention over the past few years, that a number of people, particularly ones over a certain age, that have ranted time and time again, that there is no good new music out there anymore, and only music from their teen years is worth listening to time and time again.
I say hogwash to this. Especially if your musical coming of age stems from the eighties and the nineties. I won’t even get into the music from the seventies, and the sixties, due to the boomers being so far gone to begin with.
I get it, I do. The music that we cut our teeth on and found either from an older siblings record or CD collection, or from our own self discovery is held in high reverence. Same with me. Although, I will add that a lot of the music that I loved as a youth does not hold up for me as an adult. It could be the lyrical content, or maybe I was at a different headspace then, or perhaps I followed one tribe, and one genre, and totally discounted everything else.
As one get a few more years in life happens, and experiences, and different points of views become an influence. If they do not, then you are shortchanging yourself.
I think many people find comfort in familiarity and just do not want to stray too far from that security blanket that they have wrapped around themselves. In this day and age, can you blame them? I don’t. With all the craziness that is going on day to day, people want to feel safe. Music is no different.
Some people in my social circle, when they do venture out and find newer bands to listen to pick bands that sound just like the bands that they grew up with. To me this makes no sense at all. In the eighties so many bands sounded like either Van Halen, AC/DC, or Aerosmith (reference for the metal crowd), or like The Cult, The Cure, or Echo and The Bunnymen (reference for the new wave crowd. That’s what they called alternative before they called it alternative).
The nineties? Aside from some bands that were doing thing differently, everybody took Nirvana’s template and ran with it. Not everybody mind you, but a lot of bands.
Outside of the aforementioned bands, most of these band became successful being a lukewarm copycat simply due to MTV airing videos at image conscious band at a breakneck speed. These days without MTV band must rely on making good music with some teeth to it instead of riding on the coattails of others.
Current rock bands essentially do not sell records with the same aplomb that their predecessors sold merely on image. Sure, they do videos for their websites and for their YouTube channels, but it is not the same at all. Bands need to forge their own identity and not pull out a bag of tricks from what came eons ago.
Just in case I lost some of you with that rant, the point I was making is that there are some great new bands out there now. I could name a ton of them for you, but this is reserved for one band to shine, and that my friends is Wet Leg.
This band has a buzz about them that I have not witnessed in a very long time. Even Dave Grohl has sung their praises citing that they are his favorite new band. This time the hype is spot on, unlike some many others that have claimed the buzz factor. People I know are already claiming that the song “Chaise Longue” is the hottest thing they’ve heard thus far in ’22. The song has an indie vibe with laid back vocals, but still rocks like anything else currently out there.
Upon hearing the song for the first time, I thought it was some kind of sexual reference. Particularly with the lyric of Is your muffin buttered?/Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin? In actuality I have no idea what the song is about, and I really do not want to force my interpretation of it on you. The song rocks and it’s fun to dance to. What else do you need to know.
Wet Leg is an original band that really does not sound like anything else that I’ve come across. Trying to pinpoint what influences that Wet Leg’s Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers have assembled is too tough to call. Other than a small riff in “I Don’t Want to go Out” that sounds like something from Nirvana’s “The Man Who Sold The World”, but that’s a cover, so it doesn’t really count. Maybe a David Bowie influence instead? Again, does it matter.
“Oh No” is a song that is about been bored with everything, but it’s wrapped in a rocking candy shell that is sounds uplifting and not morose, or bad tempered.
“Wet Dream” is the only song on the album that I’m pretty sure I know what it’s about. So do You, by the way. Every song on the record is fun, and memorable, and you can dance all night to them. Even the ode to a failed relationship “Ur Mom” has some harsh words but due to Wet Leg’s crafty musical skills, the song come off more joyous then rough.
The songs on/by Wet Leg are all cool enough to feed your rock and roll fantasies, or groovy enough to slow dance to or make out to. This record is going to be the feel-good hit of the summer, that is destined to be played all over rooftops, backyard barbecues, and any other places that revelry will be taking place.
Article: Carmine Basilicata