Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Album Review: The Wedding Present - Seamonsters

This 1991 album is the only Wedding Present album I am familiar with. I had been expecting shambling, jangly guitar along the lines of the NME’s ‘C86’ movement, but the presence of Steve Albini as producer tells a different story. The album by and large features a huge guitar sound along with main songwriter David Gedge’s distinctive vocals, which I can only describe as sounding like somebody stepping on his throat!

Dalliance is the opening track and it starts off quietly, with muted guitars with poignant, bitter lyrics of an ended love affair (“you don’t care now that you’re gone but you know how much I miss you”….. “I still want to kiss you”). The song continues like this until halfway through, when the absolutely massive, driving, distorted guitars come in and dominate for the rest of the song courtesy of Gedge and Peter Solokwa. It finishes up with the wonderfully scathing line "but I was yours for seven years, is that what you call a dalliance?!" - which sounds even better accompanied by the raging guitars and thundering drums.

The rest of the album continues in this vein. Suck is a fine song, built on heavy guitars and a simple chorus, “you suck it all right out of me”. Nothing more needs to be said. Sounds to me like Whipping Boy were listening to this for their 2nd album Heartworm. Blonde takes things down a notch, though the obligatory heavy guitars enter again for the chorus.

Some variety arrives with Rotterdam, which features a nice, somewhat jangly guitar interlude midsong. There are great moments throughout this album, the minute and a half feedback which ends Lovenest, and the loathing with attitude that permeates Heather to name just two of them. If you like your guitars hard and heavy, but fat-free, check this album.