Part-time Monolith contributor Richie Ainger waxes lyrical about the goofball indie of Let’s Wrestle ,in this review from the summer of 2009.
‘In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s’ – Let’s Wrestle – Stolen Recordings
I first heard ‘I won’t Lie To You’ about 16 months ago on the radio. Soon after that, the band released their first E.P ‘ In Loving Memory Of…’. And now they have bestowed upon us their debut album, ‘In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s’ (hereby referred to as ‘ITCOTWL’ to save my fingers).
‘ITCOTWL’ continues on from the blueprint laid down by ‘In Loving Memory Of…’. It is musically simplistic but a joyous listen. Slices of Pavement, Blur and Punk merge with Wesley Patrick Gonzales’ (aka WPG) naive lyrics about being young and having fun. The instrumentation is a glorious mix of wandering bass lines, droning guitars and punky drumming.
But Let’s Wrestle have stayed entirely true to their own tried and tested method. They have expanded and elaborated their sound from the previous efforts. The Songs ‘Tanks’, ‘Insects’ (a rerecorded version from ‘In Loving Memory Of…’) and ‘In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s’ all feature keyboards. This development in the sound shows a band that is willing to learn and experiment.
‘Tanks’ is one of the many strong tracks on ‘ITCOTWL’. It has WPG’s trademark shouty howl as well as the staple wandering bass line that has become a mainstay in their sound. ‘Tanks’ plods along at a medium tempo whilst you fall more and more in love with the band’s naivety.
Other standout tracks on ‘ITCOTWL’ (pretty much 3/4 of the album) include: the Pavement-esque ‘My Arms Don’t Bend That Way, Damn It’, the last single ‘I’m In Fighting Mode’ with its lovely bass and melodies, the last track ‘In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s’, a 60s psyche influenced jam and ‘We Are The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon’, the strongest track by far on the album.
‘We Are The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon’ is a song about finding a job and having fun with the money, “We’re going down the job center/ And soon, we’ll come out with a job” and “We’ve got enough money to buy some G&T’s for the girls” are examples of the tracks subject. It has a fast tempo and brilliantly shabby instruments.
But it’s not all blue skies and butterflies with ‘ITCOTWL’. ‘Diana’s Hair’ clogs up the middle of the album as a dead weight song. The interludes, there are four of them, are startlingly unoriginal. They borrow heavily from Pavement and defeat the object a little. Also, the constant shabby and ramshackle sound of the band may tire a little.
In all the album delivers. It is a lively effort with a wrestling pedigree about it. It is brash and punky and loud. But Let’s Wrestle also have a knack of writing a catchy tune or six. It may be a little formulaic, but it’s a contender for one of the top ten albums of 2009.