Album Reviews

Wet Leg – Wet Leg

(Domino) UK release date: 8 April 2022

This debut could have been a niche critical favourite. Instead, every preconception has been firmly smashed, and they are on track to become the biggest band in the country

Wet Leg - Wet Leg It’s forever been a truism of pop that all it takes is one song to catch a flame, ignite and define an entire generation. Think anything from the dawn of modern pop with The Beatles, to Jack Your Body sparking the House and dance phenomenon in the UK in the late ’80s, to the grunge explosion started by Nirvana and Smells Like Teen Spirit, all the way to Franz Ferdinand with Take Me Out in the noughties.

Add to that list now Wet Leg, who have made an instantly iconic entry with their seismic debut single Chaise Longue. Of course, the challenge now is obvious. How do you follow such an incendiary debut? Well it’s by releasing a fully formed, perfectly defined and whip smart classic of a debut album. 

Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers recognise that the beauty of music and its ability to connect on multiple levels is at least equally rooted in personality and the sheer exuberant thrill of having fun as much as it is in sonic experimentation and otherworldly mystery. Their self titled debut is a headlong rush through the distinct Wet Leg world in its idiosyncratic glory. The album is full of quotable, relatable and brilliantly delivered lines and quips that resonate across generations and, crucially, across the online and social world through memes and online culture and particularly on TikTok with Too Late Now being a particularly favourite on there. Added to the music’s generally post punky spikiness Wet Leg have a concoction that spans the eras. 

Through all the knowing playfulness though they can also do sincerity. Kind of. Well, in their own unique way. Opener Being In Love is perhaps the most honest and authentic description of emotion you can find in its wallowing in misery but embracing it at the same time. Elsewhere it’s clear they are having the time of their lives on the confident and assured kiss off shade of Ur Mum which is punctuated by a supremely satisfying and cathartic scream towards the end which is just one thrilling moment on a record packed full of them. It’s important to note as well that the album simply sounds incredible. With production by indie master Dan Carey who has worked with almost everyone of note in indie rock, most recently Fontaines DC and Black Midi, the trio have crafted a supremely coherent work that fizzes and sparks throughout. 

A buzz word among social commentators this year is “Vibe Shift”. Some of that talk might be a bit woolly and not entirely rooted in reality, however it’s a phrase you can realistically describe when talking about Wet Leg. Wet Leg represent indie rock’s vibe shift. Casting off the shackles of repressed timidity and an era of mostly downbeat introspection, they are the stone cold cliched dictionary definition of a breath of fresh air. 

Perhaps the vibe is in a general air of hornyness. A strong undercurrent of desire and heightened emotions. It’s something that had been deeply missing in indie rock over the last five years or so but with their combination of humour, desire and clever references and world building inclusivity they are bringing back an energy that we have sorely missed. 

Wet Leg could easily have been just another cult band. The album could have been a niche critical favourite that marked them out as just curious oddities. Instead every preconception has been firmly smashed. Firmly on track to become the biggest band in the country, Wet Leg are here to shake the post pandemic culture out of its slumber.

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Wet Leg – Wet Leg