Title - 'El Ray' (Manifesto Records)
Artist - The Wedding Present
El Rey - the first new album in over three years from The Wedding Present - was recorded in Chicago by Steve Albini ... but in truth it's Brit-rocker David Gedge (and his love for complex guitar structures and conversational lyrics) that have brought his band the Wedding Present back into the limelight.
Their stellar 1986 debut George Best (named after the very popular British / Irish footballer) was a masterpiece and while this new effort (the first since 2004's Take Fountain) 'El Rey' does reunite the Wedding Present with their pal Albini, the question has to be asked: Do we still care and if so why?
Well, the answer should be yes with the reasoning being that 'El Rey' was written when David was living in LA and thus the ultra-smooth track “Spider-Man On Hollywood” chronicles a lot of what sounds like his experiences out there! “Soup” is a little bit of an oddball track. The maybe unintentional Seinfield reference just seems a little strange in this spot. Whereas “Palisades” is one of the most brutal honest tracks as David just seems to bare it all on this record. He talks about the frustrations and the confusions of relationships like no one else out there.
The album sets another landmark for The Wedding Present. For those of you including myself who thought that Take Fountain would be just to hard to follow up David has proved us all wrong. This is the seventh all-new WP album and with Albini engineering them so vividly each is a musical blessing in disguise.