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Letís Wrestle - Nursing Home

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Artist: Letís Wrestle

Album: Nursing Home

Label: Merge

Review date: Jun. 1, 2011

Letís Wrestleís success story is the type that keeps enterprising kids plugging in and stomping pedals: Slacker friends record shambolic, charming album in a basement; said album gets noticed ó and re-released ó by hip American indie label; band tours extensively, gets to hang with their idols; then settles into the studio to record a follow- up with notable producer. Better yet, in the London trioís case, the entire process took place over the span of a couple of quick years.

While the bandís ride must have been dizzying, key to Letís Wrestleís charm is how little success has fazed Wesley Patrick Gonzalezís crew. On Nursing Home, much like the bandís debut, the songs swing on an orbit of Gonzalezís dreams, fantasies and day-to- day mundane. Itís not heady lyricism ó song titles here include ďBad Mammaries,Ē ďThereís A Rockstar In My RoomĒ and ďIím So LazyĒ ó yet Gonzalezís wordplay is charming and nimble.

ďIn Dreams Part II,Ē opens the album with a doughy, hyper bass line and rusted nail guitars. The effect is oh so very í90s, not unlike early Green Day or other first gen pop-punk pranksters. Steve Albini is a surprisingly decent fit in the production booth, providing an angsty kick that meshes well with the musicís snot- nosed teenage abandon.

Yet, what differentiates Letís Wrestle from the legions of three-chord Jackass-bred punks is its inherent Britishness. Where American counterparts may be content with songs of skating, pee-stink and cheap beer, Gonzalez and Co. create Ray Davies-sharp social scenarios. ďIn The SuburbsĒ and ďI Am UsefulĒ find the band peering into the same sad English suburbia which has fascinated U.K. songsmiths since The Kinks first turned their lens towards the packaged flats of Muswell Hill.

Itís this attention to the absurdity and hilarity of the everyday, mated with the bandís catchy, subtle instrumentation, that gives Nursing Home an appeal which lasts well beyond the albumís initial sugar high.

By Ethan Covey

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