12 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Wedding Present’s David Gedge relocated to West Hollywood and reconnected with Chicago sound engineer Steve Albini (who last recorded the band’s 1991 album Seamonsters) for 2008’s El Rey, and both influences are readily apparent. The Leeds, UK native Gedge has taken Los Angeles to heart with tunes such as “Santa Ana Winds,” “Spider Man on Hollywood,” “Model, Actress, Whatever…,” and “Swingers” that reflect his newfound home in their lyrical concerns and in the positive vibrations of their relatively sunny melodies. Albini’s touches are sonic, and, as expected, darker. The twin guitars of Gedge and Chris McConville are kept raw and dirty with drummer Graeme Ramsay highlighted as a strong pulverizing accent, giving these “pop” songs a nasty, aggressive edge. “Soup” is a curious throwback to the “soup nazi” episode of Seinfeld that makes one wonder which decade Gedge has slept through. Gedge is hardly an old re-run himself; the percolating build of “The Trouble With Men” showcases a knack for multi-hued drama where the gray areas turn sepia-toned and his vocals evoke a desperate weariness. It’s these paradoxes that make for intrigue.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Wedding Present’s David Gedge relocated to West Hollywood and reconnected with Chicago sound engineer Steve Albini (who last recorded the band’s 1991 album Seamonsters) for 2008’s El Rey, and both influences are readily apparent. The Leeds, UK native Gedge has taken Los Angeles to heart with tunes such as “Santa Ana Winds,” “Spider Man on Hollywood,” “Model, Actress, Whatever…,” and “Swingers” that reflect his newfound home in their lyrical concerns and in the positive vibrations of their relatively sunny melodies. Albini’s touches are sonic, and, as expected, darker. The twin guitars of Gedge and Chris McConville are kept raw and dirty with drummer Graeme Ramsay highlighted as a strong pulverizing accent, giving these “pop” songs a nasty, aggressive edge. “Soup” is a curious throwback to the “soup nazi” episode of Seinfeld that makes one wonder which decade Gedge has slept through. Gedge is hardly an old re-run himself; the percolating build of “The Trouble With Men” showcases a knack for multi-hued drama where the gray areas turn sepia-toned and his vocals evoke a desperate weariness. It’s these paradoxes that make for intrigue.

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