For fans of: Pavement, Hefner, Dinosaur Jr, Half Man Half Biscuit
There is something strangely charming about Let’s Wrestle, something quintessentially English in their style and lyrical delivery. Who else could produce songs about going to the library and the charity shop, or boiling the kettle and forgetting to make the tea as they did on “My Schedule” from their debut of 2009, “In The Court of the Wrestling Let’s” (itself a witty play on the title of the famous King Crimson album)? They continue this on their follow up “Nursing Home”, albeit with a bit more urge and vigour than last time, maybe something to do with a certain legendary Steve Albini at the controls!
They start off in a suitably surreal vein with “In Dreams Part II”, where Wesley Patrick Gonzalez describes two greek men fighting and being beaten up by and punching Pokemon characters in the face (Pidgeotto to be exact, no idea if I’ve spelt that right, they were well after my time!)
Track “In The Suburbs” plays on the flipside of the usual rock ‘n’ roll cliches of the suburbs being a place of boredom and singing about the desperation to leave to the vibrancy of the city. Let’s Wrestle instead sing of homesickness and of their desire to return to the safety of childhood where they could “Have dinner with my mother / then play computer games all night / as I feel so safe in the suburbs”
Although humour plays a large part in their music they are not and are not trying to be a ‘comedy band’ but rather use their sarcasm and wit to elicit smiles rather than belly laughs, none more so than on track “Bad Mammaries” where the band seem to be admonishing a forty something woman for flirting and flaunting her assets “and please just give up, join a nunnery / cos you’re past your sell by date / and please stop flaunting your mammarieeeess”!
Despite all this they also manage to carry off “For My Mother”, a surprisingly tender but non-schmaltzy dedication, which amongst the sharp-tongued witticisms of the rest of the album is a pretty neat trick!
Throughout this joyful little half hour album they have really stepped up the pace and have a bit more of a pop punk feeling than the more slacker lo-fi of their first album, none of the songs here go far past the three minute mark meaning that the album never outstays its welcome. So much for the ‘difficult second album’, to me this second outing proves that the band still have a lot of good stuff left in them.
Another cracker that will no doubt find itself on these very pages come end of year list time.