Let’s Wrestle are music geeks and, behind their self deprecating front they’re very proud of it. References to their High Fidelity-ish approach to the subject are littered throughout their reissued debut album, In The Court Of Wrestling, Let’s.
Geekery is evident in the wonderfully titled Music Is My Girlfriend (“It’s not cool to like Leo Sayer so I won’t like Leo Sayer, music is my girlfriend and I’d do anything for her… Sometimes I think I’m trying to hard…”) to the infectiously jangly I Won’t Lie To You (“No matter how many records I buy I can’t fill this void”). And it’s obvious when considering their influences; the likes of Pavement, Dinosaur Jr, the Buzzcocks and even Buddy Holly are bandied around. Part scratchy indie-pop, part grainy lo-fi, there’s one consistent feature of Let’s Wrestle, and that’s a killer chorus. Not for them the rumbling noises of some of the lo-fi bands they’re likened to; they might have lifted Dinosaur Jr’s guitars but they’re keener of Buddy’s tunes.
Of course, being musos this is no lazy reissue to keep their record company happy; it also contains a second disc of hard to find singles and EPs. And there are some gems to be found here, from anthemic live favourite Let’s Wrestle (“Let’s wrestle, let’s fucking wrestle!”) to the Sebadoh/Hefner hybrid Song For Abba Tribute Record (“One day I’ll find someone who likes reading comic books and drinking red wine, one day there’ll be time for me…”). But the re-release demonstrates Full Time Hobby’s justifiable belief in the Londoners and the record they released last year to little fanfare.
It showcases a band who, if given enough exposure, could tap into a certain kind of music fan with the same passion and force of the bands who are lumped beside them. They’re young, far from cool and sing about thwarted romance and teenage angst with a world weariness that’s in equal parts charming and brattish. Their music is as triumphant, boozy, raucous and youthful as they are, straddling a woozy line between grandiose New York Dolls-style structured but chaotic punk and Sarah Records, DIY sounding indie-pop.
It also includes a welcome dollop of sneering wit and an at times bizarre, odd-ball sense of humour, evident in Diana’s Hair (“Eleven years ago a princess died and the wounds are still there, but I found a way to get over it, I found a friend with Diana’s hair…”) and the cheeky ear worm that is We Are The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon (“We aren’t the most reliable guys in the world but we’ve got enough money to buy some G&Ts for the girls… and we’re the men you’ll grow to love soon.”)
It’s a brilliantly eccentric record that’s well worth exploring and, of course, we won’t tell anyone you didn’t pick it up first time around.