Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Wet Leg – Too Late Now

We revisit Wet Leg, as they revisit the dread adulting…


Dorian Sinclair: Wet Leg have released four songs now, all of which hew closely to the same mold — repetitious, rhythmic bass paired with simple semi-spoken melodies and sharp, mordantly funny lyrics. They’re good songs, pretty much across the board, but I have wondered how far they can stretch it and whether they can find ways to make it keep feeling fresh. “Too Late Now” gives me some hope that they can; I like the delicacy with which it opens and the weird little warble in the melody, and the lyrics (while still pretty wry) have significantly more emotional heft than “Chaise Longue” or “Wet Dream“.

Oliver Maier: I like this much much more than “Wet Dream”, though the MTV line betrays that it’s still pretty much an idiom on autopilot — it’s 2022, nobody needs no MTV. The first chunk, with its sound effects and quivering melismas, is the stronger half and could’ve gone on much longer before the moment of catharsis, which feels premature. I get that long songs are contrary to the M.O. of being indie rock radio catnip, but single edits are a thing.

Tobi Tella: It feels easy to predict the entire rest of the song from those introductory plunking guitar chords and soft-spoken vocals, another wistful and introspective indie song about being generally sad. The best decision Wet Leg could have made is cranking up the noise in the second half and letting the guitars consume the mix. There’s nothing wrong with the vocals, but the futility so palpable it becomes suffocating is more interesting than simple numbness.

Micha Cavaseno: Rock would probably have a better future for itself if we could outlaw the Neu!beat for a good 10 to 15 years unless people had to pay a fee to use it. Here we’ve got maybe the… hundredth song with a woman bemoaning the dull grinding misery of the modern world over a Neu!beat, because that has become the only form of music rock bands for a certain audience in the Western world know how to operate on. Hell, even the Au Pairs at least bothered to make it funky when they did something similar. Wet Leg could honestly do with a lot of improvements in general (the singer mentioning MTV is some real Old Person shit, let’s be real), but right now I feel an embargo on the Neu!beat is essential for all of us. And frankly, if Wet Leg want their song to feel special and significant for all the ‘meaning’ and ‘worthiness’ behind these lyrics, maybe they should make the music behind them worth a damn!

Katherine St Asaph: I assume the intended RIYL here is Courtney Barnett, but I hear Cathy Davey, kind of a hybrid of the sotto-voce anxiety of “Happy Slapping” and the surge of “Sing for Your Supper.” Also some resonances with those Dry Cleaning and Self Esteem tracks from Amnesty, in their arch self-deprecating consumerism they already know is a cutesy failure. That sort of thing tends to fall flat for me. Their inner critics need snappier monologues.

Alfred Soto: Tentativeness can be appealing as much as frustrating; Wet Leg, with their coy-wry lyrics and airy guitar tunefulness, straddle both. 

Ian Mathers: When a new band feels like they come out of nowhere and do so rapidly, it can be easy to have doubts, even if you like them, maybe especially if the stuff that gets them early attention does so by being funny/clever/raucous/etc etc etc. Sometimes it’s just because you’re worried about whether or not they can stick the landing. But look, four songs out of four so far are tremendously fun to listen to, which is more than some bands ever manage. Might be time to take a bubble bath and stop worrying.

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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