Saturday, May 31, 2008
CD Review: The Wedding Present - El Rey
The Wedding Present - El Rey
2008, Manifesto Records
I was amazed to learn that The Wedding Present had been around for 21 years. I mean, I'd certainly heard of them, but I'd managed to never come across any of their music in all that time. El Rey is the bands 9th release, and is perhaps the most intense to date. The Wedding Present is in top form under the steady guiding hand of producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies, Page and Plant, The Stooges).
El Rey is very guitar oriented and has a dark timbre akin to a good stout beer. I've actually waffled on the album a few times since I first heard it, liking it at times and holding it arms length at others. The conclusion I came to is that for me, at least, it's a mood album. Highlights for me are Spider-Man on Hollywood; Actress, Model, Whatever...; Don't Take Me Home Until I'm Drunk, and Boo Boo. These are some of the more upbeat songs on the album. I just had a hard time connecting with some of the slower, darker material (I never was big on the bottom of the stout glass either).
That's not to knock the music. Everything is executed very well. The production values are high and the musicianship is right there, it was just a little too dark for my taste. Where I was able to connect I really enjoyed the music, and I think that fans of the band will eat this album up. Likewise, if you were a fan of any of the dark, semi-depressed music that came on the late-80's British Invasion then this is definitely for you. All-in-all a strong effort, even if I don't have the taste for all of it.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
You can learn more about The Wedding Present at www.scopitones.co.uk. You can purchase a copy of El Rey at most major music retailers, or online at Amazon.com.