Artist: Let's Wrestle
Album: Let's Wrestle
Record Label: Fortuna POP!
Release Date: 10th February 2014
Over the past 5 or 6 years there's been a significant increase in the amount of spiel written about the evolution of a select few UK bands that deservedly have garnered sizeable followings due to their forward-thinking ethos' and creativity. Foals, Wild Beasts and The Horrors have been flying the flag for those who still have a morsel of belief that UK Indie didn't spend its last pickings when The Libertines split up. The somewhat conservative nature of the UK press however means that several bands have been left in the corner to trundle their charm to those diligent enough to seek it out; The Wave Pictures, British Sea Power and London trio Let's Wrestle all wear this sense of being left in the lurch on their sleeves, and albums like the latter's self-titled new release are testimonies to how much unknown talent resides in those distant corners.
The general artistic trajectory of 'Let's Wrestle' is almost romantically eccentric. A wry, often forlorn sense of humour sits atop jangly indie pop with a backbone of swirling orchestral instrumentation. Its charm is thoroughly placed in its quirkiness, its ability to not take itself all that seriously, and the fact that the lack of a massive fan base doesn't matter; 'Let's Wrestle' is wrapped up in its everso-slightly cutesy universe.
Opener 'Rains Ruin Revolution' is a jangly, clean-cut affair that kicks into action the band's sardonic take on the wider social situation in 2014, seeming like a call for more confidence in today's youth as it asserts "rains, ruin, revolution, they'll all get wet, they never have belief in themselves". 'Codeine and Marshmallows" is a sombre but summery Real Estate-esque affair about the aftermath of a relationship, sagging deep into melancholy as the chorus suggests that "codeine and marshmallows have an aftertaste of sick, blood and loneliness".
'Care For You' is a witty, Girls-esque brass inflected pop bounce that indulges in the complications of young love (sample lyric: "I love you... But just not enough to need you honey"). The idiosyncratic thrill is given extra vertebrae by a complimentary saxophone solo.
'Opium Den' is lined with '60s psychadelic synth parps that only get more oddball as the track continues, coupled with slightly angular, catchy guitar noodling and lyrics seemingly about losing a friend to a soul eating drug addiction. They end on the resonantly positive 'Watching Over You', a boisterous but controlled reverb-laden jaunt, like a toned-down My Bloody Valentine. It's a clamour that feels somewhat righteous and a fitting ending.
'Let's Wrestle' is a mish-mash of charm, wit and heartbreak, and those things combined make for a kind of story-telling that, although entirely of its own, never loses its grasp on tangible entertainment. As they head along it seems increasingly unlikely that Let's Wrestle will get the attention they deserve. In their case though, it hardly matters; they're happy inhabiting the territories that people stumble across almost by accident. They're still among the last bastions of off-kilter, secretive romance in British Indie.
Key Tracks: 'Codeine And Marshmallows', 'Opium Den', 'Watching Over You'
For Fans Of: The Wave Pictures, British Sea Power, Christopher Owens