Let’s Wrestle - Let’s Wrestle

The band move away from the scrappy slacker-punk of yore to a fuller, more layered sound.

Label: Fortuna POP!

Rating:

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. Such control-freakery seems to have paid off, though, as the band move away from the scrappy slacker-punk of yore to a fuller, more layered sound.

There have always been faint echoes of The Kinks in the Let’s Wrestle DNA, if only in the quintessential Britishness of their subject matter, and here it’s pushed to the fore on a record which also draws heavily on 60s and 70s psych-pop.

Yet while the album may look backwards musically, Gonzalez has always been particularly adept at chronicling the world around him (in this case his Hackney stomping ground) to evoke a strong sense of place and keep the record firmly rooted in the here and now. From the second that album opener ‘Rain Ruins Revolutions’ gallops out of the traps, the band keep things succinct (no song strays past the 3:30 mark) and never overstay their welcome.

It’s a rare trick for a band to introduce such a shift in styles without compromising their identity, or what it was that drew people to them in the first place, Let’s Wrestle have managed to pull it off and, in the process, written their most rewarding album yet.