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Wet Leg - Wet Leg (Album Review)

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 Written by Jacob Brookman

Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers have had a good lockdown. Hailing from the Isle of Wight, the two musicians managed to rattle off both an incredibly infectious pseudo-novelty song and a hugely impressive debut album that charts late 20s ennui and digital overdrive. The result has been a record deal with Domino, millions of streams and late night TV spots on US talk shows.

Aforementioned novelty song appears early on this album. Chaise Longue is a post-punk track detailing the singers’ quarter-life crisis with deadpan humour, earwormy spoken word and Mean Girls references: “Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin?”

If you listened to BBC Radio 6 last summer for longer than 20 minutes, it’s highly likely you heard Chaise Longue. It's not the album’s strongest song but it’s probably the most memorable and retro, recalling everyone from Elastica to L7 or The Breeders.

Elsewhere, a certain arty adolescence gives the record its distinctive character. Wet Dream is a song that takes joy in being the subject of male fantasies while rejecting and satirising them: “You climb onto the bonnet and you’re licking the windscreen / I’ve never seen anything so obscene.”

The reversed gender roles in this image really bring home what a ludicrous fantasy the car wash thing is in the first place, and the references to a would-be lover trying to coax the singer back to his place with a DVD of Vincent Gallo’s 1998 indie comedy Buffalo 66 sharpens the image of an indie softboi to satisfyingly high relief.

Since the start of the year, there has been a wave of new releases from established musicians who either recorded their albums over lockdown or held them back until they could accompany the release with a live tour. This has meant a clustered market with new musicians struggling to make it onto radio stations and playlists. 

Wet Leg are one of the most interesting amongst this latter crop, however  their fundamental sound—low slung post-punk/indie—is not always one that lends bands to a long and varied catalogue. It will be interesting to see if Wet Leg can break that mould. You'd like to think they can, because this is an excellent start.

Wet Leg Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue April 19 2022 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Wed April 20 2022 - MANCHESTER Gorilla
Thu April 21 2022 - BRISTOL Bristol Trinity
Sat April 23 2022 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute2
Sun April 24 2022 - NORWICH Norwich Arts Centre
Tue April 26 2022 - LONDON Electric Ballroom
Wed April 27 2022 - PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms
Thu June 23 2022 - BRISTOL Louisiana
Sun November 13 2022 - NORWICH Nick Rayns LCR
Mon November 14 2022 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Tue November 15 2022 - LIVERPOOL O2 Academy Liverpool
Thu November 17 2022 - GLASGOW SWG3
Fri November 18 2022 - LEEDS Leeds Beckett Students Union
Sat November 19 2022 - MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Mon November 21 2022 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Wed November 23 2022 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town
Thu November 24 2022 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town
Fri November 25 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Sun November 27 2022 - BELFAST Limelight
Mon November 28 2022 - DUBLIN Academy

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