Wet Leg Leaves Me Dry
The band Wet Leg seems to be the latest installment in the “up and coming” category. Honestly, I don’t know why. What can I say – I don’t like them. They are repetitive, sing (if you can call it that) badly and are completely lacking in depth. They could be classified as punk or maybe pop (though not pop punk) and some reviewers are saying they are post-punk. The latter is probably so as not to insult the punk community. Unlike classic punk, pop punk, hardcore, or just about any other punk variant, their songs have no emotional center other than boredom. There’s no anger, hate, love, sadness, none of that. Only boredom and some laziness; Not even angst over being bored. They are not even tuneful. Often, they just play the same chord over with a heavy drumbeat overlayed on top. At their best they get a bit of the shimmering you see in showgazer but nothing more. If their music is all about sounding as if they don’t care, then they are successful. I don’t care.
The big single off their debut, eponymous album, Wet Leg, is “Chaise Longue”. It’s playing on all the alternative rock stations. It’s a boring song without any depth. This is a simple, shallow, and repetitive song. I have no idea why this is a thing. It starts off like standard 80s new wave with minimal guitars and tom tom heavy drumming. It doesn’t get any better. Lyrics are speak-sung, which feels lazy, and the guitar riffs are repetitive. Actually, the whole song is repetitive. The verses are quiet with mumbled singing. That’s followed by a loud chorus with loud chords which goes quiet again. The quiet-loud-quiet thing is so cliché. Then again, so’s the whole album. I have no idea why this is such a hot band. They sound like a couple of teenagers who are just learning to play instruments and are just messing around. At best.
The lead off song, “Being in Love”, presents you with heavy tom-toms and repetitive lyrics (see the trend) giving way to wailing and guitar strumming. So far, so… boring. This is two minutes and two seconds of tedium. It comes across like mid-album filler, except that how Wet Leg chose to start off their first album.
Things don’t get much better. In addition to the utter dullness that is “Chaise Longue”, there is the tuneless and monotonous “Angelica”, the off-key, and I’m-too-bored-to-exist “I Don’t Want Go Out”, the complete laziness of “Convincing”, and ever so dull, speak-sung “Oh No”. That latter includes a da da da/da da da chorus that was so painful to listen to, I had to skip half the song to maintain my sanity. These songs are just awful.
Then there’s “Ur Mom”. Not only does it have a title that I’m sure they thought up while texting, it is also childishly sing-song. That in of itself wouldn’t be too bad except for the random screaming. Yep, kiddie vocals interrupted by random screaming. What could be more fun? Two songs later we have the honestly titled song “Piece of Shit.” It’s yet another quiet song with mumbled lyrics. I get the impression that they were trying to imitate Billy Eilish and failed dramatically.
Not all the songs on Wet Leg are terrible, though most are pretty bad. “Wet Dream” is upbeat and fun, lacking in the tedium that infects most of the album. It’s lyrics, such as ” I was in your wet dream, driving in my car”, give me it a bit of a chuckle. It’s beat will probably land it on “driving to the club” playlists. It might be the best song on the album. “Loving You” actually has a real guitar riff and something of a tune. The lyrics are mumbled and punctuated with childish la la la sounds but it’s passable. “Supermarket” is cute, bordering on twee, and would be a decent song if not for the strange wailing vocals. The final song on the album, “Too Late Now” actually sounds like a pop punk song. Not a great one but a respectable song. It’s the best possible scenario for the end of this album.
Wet Leg by Wet Leg is horribly lazy. The guitar playing is tedious and vocals mumbled throughout. I would say that the songwriting sounds like twelve-year-olds writing in their journals but that’s insulting to a lot of budding songwriters out their who happen to be only twelve. Even the name of the album is lazy. Wet Leg just sounds like they don’t care. Maybe that’s their schtick but it doesn’t make for good music. There is no anger, joy, sadness, sensuality – nothing! I know I’m not a young man, but I don’t know many teens that this album would connect with. Maybe they are better in concert. Given this dreck, I can’t imagine how.