The Wedding Present – Going, Going...
Whether they’re drafting in Steve Albini to produce, cranking out a new single every month or releasing an album in which every song has an accompanying film – as they do on their ninth album, Going, Going… – you have to give credit where it’s due to David Gedge and his various incarnations of The Wedding Present. Unfortunately, there's something a little cack-handed about their latest something new.
Going, Going... opens with four very passable instrumentals; strange if instrumentals are not your stock in trade. Elsewhere, the band sound hard – harder than they have for a while, which we like, even if Gedge's voice appears to have lost its growl. Across the 20 songs there's a wobbly unevenness, fairly split between unlistenable horribleness like Secretary (imagine Gedge wailing “I only get through to your secretary” over and over, and be grateful we’ve saved you from hearing it) and taut US hardcore influenced indie rock like Fordland and Broken Bow.
It’s a far cry from George Best (although Gedge's lyrical concerns have always been female) but they are not quite a busted flush yet, as Rachel – a lovely, sparse and plaintive thing – and ferocious album closer, Santa Monica demonstrate. File this one under: One for the fans. What other kind of Wedding Present album is there?
Listen to: Fordland, Broken Bow, Rachel, Santa Monica.