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Dan Baker

CD of The Week

Week of 4/11/22

    Wet Leg - Wet Leg (Domino)

    If you haven't yet caught the buzz about the duo Wet Leg from Isle Of Wight, then it's time to emerge from under your rock. Their self-titled debut album is full of snarky wit, wondrous daydreams, and catchy post-punk vibes. The pair, Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, met at the Isle Of Wight College in pursuit of degrees in Performing Arts and opted to start a band solely for the fun of it. They seemed just as surprised as everyone else at their immediate success; late-night show appearances, long lines waiting for them at SXSW, and multiple NME awards, without ever releasing a proper album.

    Now that the album is out, it is evident that they're much more than just a novelty. Lead single "Chaise Longue," released last summer, broke the mold of the new Brit post-punk-revivalism by lacing an infectious hook and chorus with lyrical nods to Mean Girls ("would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin") and slyly asking a fan if they're interested in consuming warm packs of beer after the show. This cheekiness permeates throughout the album, as their infectious humor conveys the coping mechanisms they employ during their early onset of midlife crises. There are plenty of biting takes on sexuality, too, like "What makes you think you're good enough to think about me when you're touching yourself?" from "Wet Dream."

    Millennial angst is a running theme throughout, with lines like "I think I lost my sh*t, some kind of f*cked up trip, but I kinda like it cause it feels like being in love" (opener "Being In Love"), as well as multiple instances of being unmotivated to do anything ("I Don't Wanna Go Out" and "Piece Of Shit"). "Oh No" skewers endless doom-scrolling and wasting time watching viral “pizza rat" videos, and the like, as we're slowly consumed by our cell phones. On "Ur Mom," Teasdale employs some scream therapy at the end of the track that's both unnerving and freeing. The closing track "Too Late Now" sums it all up: "I'm not sure if this is a song, I don't even know what I'm saying."

    With endless daydream imagination, crafty guitar licks, and allowing the listeners in on their jokes, Wet Leg provides major earworm potential to all twelve tracks. Produced (mostly) by Dan Carey (Fontaines D.C., Squid) and mixed by the legendary Alan Moulder, the influences run deep, from the slackers of the ‘90s (Kim Deal, Kim Gordon), to the slackers of the ‘00s (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) to current indie slackers Dream Wife and Courtney Barnett. Yet, Teasdale and Chambers retain a wholly original aura that exceeds the expectations of living up to unexpected viral hype.
    Review by Dave Lindquist

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