In 2005 The Wedding Present returned to the front of my mind when they released Take Fountain, their first album in about eight years. Always enjoying previous efforts from David Gedge (in Cinerama and Wedding Present forms), it was nice to see that the group didn't miss a beat, and still had a knack for creating the same earnest style of music, something similar to The Smiths.
On their newest venture, El Rey, David Gedge picks up right where the team left off in 2005. The main difference is that they decided to collaborate with the legendary Steve Albini, and the album was written while Gedge was residing in Los Angeles. As a result, a shadow of the seedy underbelly of Hollywood is a theme that flows throughout the album, with topics ranging from lust, regret and obsession.
In classic Wedding Present form, there are some great jams on the release; the bittersweet "Palisades" with an ending that shreds, the opening notes on "Santa Ana Winds," and the cynical "Don't Take Me Home Until I'm Drunk." Not every song on El Rey rips with tense passion, there are quieter moments showing vulnerability such as "The Trouble With Men" and the Belle & Sebastian-esque "Swingers" (a personal favorite).
The band will be touring North America this fall, so be sure and keep an eye on The Tripwire for an announcement of their upcoming dates.
"The Thing I Like About Him Best Is His Girlfriend"