Wet Leg – Wet Leg (Domino): Album Review

Wet Leg have been threatening to make good on the promise of their debut single, the June 2021 earworm, Chaise Longue. Now, with the release of this, their self-titled debut album, they make good on that promise.

To be fair, the band, Rhian Teasdale (lead voc/guitar) and Hester Chambers (lead guitar/voc) have drip-fed five more singles along the way, so anyone paying attention (and there are plenty) will have a good idea about what this album is all about.

Wet LegA bit of the ol’ backstory..Rhian and Hester are both from the Isle Of Wight and, so the story goes, met on top of a ferris wheel (of course!).

Before too long they formed a band, or duo…wrote a bunch of songs, signed to Domino records, recorded their album and then released Chaise Longue to near universal acclaim.

Since then, they’ve spit out more “hits”…Wet Dream, Too Late Now, Oh No, Angelica and Ur Mum (all with charmingly quirky videos), been on Later With Jools and done a Tiny Desk show, toured the UK and the US (they’ll be in New Zealand in July Covid-willing) and been written up in every major music mag from Pitchfork to Rolling Stone.

Up until last Friday, the only thing they hadn’t done was release an album.

Now that bit of business is out of the way, their path to world domination seems complete.

So, what do Wet Leg sound like?

They’ve been compared to everyone from The Strokes to The Breeders, from Courtney Barnett to label-mates Franz Ferdinand.

No doubt the Courtney Barnett comparison comes from Rhian’s deadpan vocal delivery. Lyrics such as “You’re so woke, Diet Coke” take on added meaning when sung/spoken in ironic monotone.

Actually, looking for the deep and meaningful among the dozen songs here will probably leave you somewhat frustrated, as to these ears, they sound like fun, goofy rock songs about the usual things…breakups, self-loathing and free beer.

And Wet Leg seems to be more than a duo…Rhian and Hester are aided and abetted by producer /synth players Dan Cary, Jon McMullen and Joshua Mobarki along with drummer Henry Holmes and bassist Michael Champion.

The sound they make is bright perky indie rock…I’ll add 80s synth-popper Lene Lovich to the list of comparisons…and who can resist that “tribute” to Bowie/Cobain in the form of the guitar riff from Man Who Sold The World integrated into I Don’t Wanna Go Out.

Yep, there’s plenty to like about Wet Leg…the la la las, the deadpan delivery, the pointed lyrics  and the primal scream (during Ur Mum).

As closing tune, Too Late Now, addresses the issue of overthinking adult life, or “adulting” as the kids say…I would suggest not overthinking Wet Leg, just turn it up and have fun.

Marty Duda

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