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Let's Wrestle
In The Court Of The Wrestling Lets Charles Ubaghs , July 3rd, 2009 07:07

Charm and wit are rare commodities in the land of guitar-toting indie boys, or at least they appear to be in short supply among the tightly-trousered types who have spent the past few years roaming the peripheries of the mainstream like a gormless bovine herd.

It wasn't always this way. The likes of Stephen Malkmus or Television Personalities' Dan Treacy have been thin in number amongst the rank and file of pop greats, but even they've fallen by the wayside, only to be replaced by earnestly moist songwriters and hirsute urchins whose lyrical dexterity extends about as far as the hems of their unwashed jeans.

It's with some relief then that London's Let's Wrestle are ready to step into this sorry fray armed with little more than a few David Shrigley inspired drawings in one hand, battered guitars in the other and eyebrows arched defiantly to the sky.

At least, that's how it feels to anyone swayed by the sloppy lo-fi charms of early EP In Loving Memory Of… The band themselves probably couldn't give a toss. As highlighted on debut LP In the Court of the Wrestling Lets, theirs is a world filled with nothing but girls, beer, records and the stoned giggles of suburban geeks with a bit too much time and imagination on their hands.

As yawn-inducing as that may sound to those who've long since given up on 'the kid's stuff,' Let's Wrestle string it all together with a bemused wit and smirking intelligence that likely infuriated their teachers at school. It may hide beneath a pile of barely mastered instruments, but pull back the band's shroud of retarded simplicity and what's left standing is a scrappy pop sensibility. One that's prone to clubbing early Buzzcocks and Daniel Johnston over the head with singer Wesley Patrick Gonzalez's deadpan vocals and daft songs about men with Princess Diana haircuts; before escaping down the street like a drunken Napoleon Dynamite.

Maturity may be the ring we're all taught to reach for in life, but as Let's Wrestle show on In the Court of the Wrestling Lets, a stunted adolescence can occasionally be a mighty thing.