The Wedding Present – Valentina
They’re a long way off Fall-figures, but for their eighth studio album, The Weddoes have undergone another line-up change: two more personnel subbed out, and erstwhile drummer Graeme Ramsay moved into a more central position. In addition to taking up guitar and piano duties, Ramsay co-wrote all but one of Valentina’s tracks, and as such deserves a fair share of credit for it surpassing the patchy El Rey.
Back a Bit…Stop and The Girl From the DDS are, respectively, fine representatives of the band’s boisterous and contemplative sides, the latter especially effective thanks to new bassist Pepe Le Moko’s German-sung counterpoint vocals. But ultimately, fluctuations in the cadre matter little: like Mark E. Smith’s stranglehold on the Fall’s identity, The Wedding Present remain The Wedding Present so long as David Gedge’s droll lyrics and delivery stay put, and his undiminished knack for skewering cliché ensures even Valentina’s less distinctive tracks hit home.