Album Review: Wet Leg – Wet Leg

Wet Leg – Wet Leg

Indie Rock | Post Punk

41%


What’s the most disappointing album you’ve ever heard? I remember mine quite vividly – for better or worse sometimes the bad ends up being as memorable as the good. I was a nerdy teenager discovering music on my own for the first time. Until now all big trends had passed me by completely, but not this time, oh no! I was determined to spend my pocket money on the album all the cool kids seemed to be raving about at the time – the debut album from The Vaccines. I think it was one of the first CDs I bought with my own money and I thought it was going to be a big musical awakening for me. After all, if all the popular kids liked it then it must be good, right? With the benefit of hindsight I think teenage me expected something akin to Nirvana or Sonic Youth; instead I got, to put it bluntly, a heap of shit. It was a record that probably appealed to immature hormonal teenagers because it sounded like it was written by immature hormonal teenagers. Rarely in my life have I ever felt so out of the loop as in that moment: “surely this isn’t it? surely I can’t be listening to the same album they are?”. 

I’m not bringing this up just to bash The Vaccines (although I’ll not say no to the opportunity), but because I feared history would repeat itself with the buzz around new indie duo Wet Leg. Their debut single ‘Chaise Longue’ exploded onto the scene and it was the song on everyone’s lips across the industry, so naturally I was eager to check it out. Wow… talk about deja vu. A repetitive track, with a bland arrangement, whose only USP is its puerile humour and tumblr era “lol im so rAnDoM” mentality. This can’t be it, I must be missing something, this can’t be the track everyone is raving about? But it is. It’s The Vaccines all over again. 

Something in me though didn’t want to write a band off based solely on one song, so I resolved to check out their debut album and kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t all be in the same vein as ‘Chaise Longue’. There are certainly a few tracks that perform similar feats of intellectual limbo. ‘Oh No’ takes aim at mindless doomscrolling but its equally mindless lyricism (“Oh my god, life is hard, Credit card, oh no, You’re so woke, Diet Coke, I feel gross, oh no“) aims for ironic yet overshoots into irritating. But despite hosting tracks with names like ‘Wet Dream’ and ‘Ur Mum’, the childish humour of ‘Chaise Longue’ is an outlier here. Instead the album more often commits a far more heinous sin: being boring. There’s just so little going on here. The most bare bones of arrangements, lyrics with nothing to say, the greatest over-reliance on repetition that I’ve heard in forever. It has nothing new or worthwhile to offer for so much of its runtime, it’s all been done before and done better a thousand times over. Half an album full of what would be filler tracks for most middling indie bands. 

There’s some great expressive bass lines on the likes of ‘Convincing’ and ‘Too Late Now’ that do a lot of heavy lifting, and ‘Wet Dream’ plays host to the album’s only fun and memorable chorus, but beyond that I’m really struggling to hear whatever it is that other people seem to be hearing. Half the record leans heavily on ironic quirky immaturity, which you’ll either love or hate, while the other half has no real character or personality whatsoever. The end result is an album that really misses the mark for me by managing to be the worst of both worlds.