Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

Wet Leg – Wet Dream

From the Isle of Wight straight to the sidebar…


Dorian Sinclair: This is a lot of fun, isn’t it? Lyrics at that intersection of the banal and the absurd that works so well when done right, delivered with arch panache over a great groove. It’s the vocal performances that really make the song, particularly the imperious turn on “let’s begin” (particularly particularly the iteration that abruptly shuts down the end of the song). Overall “Wet Dream” is slick, quick, and enjoyably untidy — a sentence I did not initially draft as setup for a joke but have resigned myself to now that it’s written.

Aaron Bergstrom: I love a good UK hype spiral. I find it weirdly endearing that there are publications out there who have zero qualms about calling an act like Wet Leg “quite clearly the best new band on the planet” on the strength of, at that time, literally one song. Never change, UK press. That said, it certainly helps if the band in question is actually deserving of those breathless accolades, and so far Wet Leg seems up to the challenge. “Wet Dream” might not be quite as clever as debut single “Chaise Lounge” (“Baby, do you want to comе home with me? / I’ve got Buffalo ’66 on DVD” is good, but “Is your muffin buttered? / Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin?” is better), but it’s just as much of an earworm and cements the band’s identity as a kind of detached, pastoral CSS, which is something I didn’t know I needed until right now.

Ian Mathers: Honestly, I’m not sure where exactly the line is between a new band strongly establishing not just a sound but a world for themselves and “Guy who has only heard ‘Chaise Longue’, listening to his second Wet Leg song: Getting a lot of ‘Chaise Longue’ vibes from this…”, but this is still very funny in a not-suffering-fools way, still pretty deadpan, still driving in a deeply compelling way. Which is to say, err, I’m getting a lot of “Chaise Longue” vibes from this, but in a good way, not a running-out-of-ideas way.

Andrew Karpan: Of the RIYL comps getting thrown at this two-person hype machine, the correct one feels like the early Arctic Monkeys; a musical project occupied with the urgent work of remolding clichés in its own bratty image and drawing up tense us/them dichotomies for whatever worlds are paying attention. But what they’re fighting now aren’t the legions of uncool but the dicta of quaintness that threatens to sort and smoother them into playlist fodder and it outfits the song’s anxious, underlying subtext: what makes you think you’re good enough?

Jeffrey Brister: The early 00’s are back, baby! But seriously–I found it really easy to get lost in that velvety-smooth groove. There’s not a lot going on, but what’s there is pretty good. Those bits where the kick stutters break it up just right. There’s a very narrow band of intensity here, but the restraint mostly works. Just a pleasant lil tune.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: I wonder a lot about the increasing retrofication of everything. Even our science fiction aesthetics are increasingly caught up in the futures of prior generations, let alone the more straight-forward nostalgia of something like this garage rock track. Yet even as I recognize the toolkit that Wet Leg is playing with as a tired one (what’s the count on the number of distinct garage rock revivals this century?), it’s heartening that their take is weird enough to not fall into rote past-worship. The vocals squirm and dance out of classification, and the beat does the same — nodding at various points in rock history without embracing any of them.

Oliver Maier: A dance punk-ish single that hearkens back to the genre’s cheeky second wave at the turn of the century (think Le Tigre, bis, Datarock, and so on). In keeping with many songs from that era, it’s neither as clever or as fun as it thinks it is.

John S. Quinn-Puerta: There’s so much I could say about this near perfect two minutes and twenty seconds, everything coordinated in its specificity. But I find myself fixating on the structural disintegration of the hi-hat fill in verse two, getting shakier and shakier as the Wet Leg’s addressee gets ever closer to, shall we say, awakening. 

Nortey Dowuona: This song is called “Wet Dream.” This song should instead be played when u actually make love. Do it in the rain, if possible.

Alex Clifton: I’m not crazy about overly sexual stuff, but I am absolutely into music with this much energy that also mentions Buffalo 66, so it’s a good compromise.

Alfred Soto: Good not great fun to which I may have paid some mind on a 2005-era dancefloor. 

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