The Wedding Present shall play requests. - Oh My Rockness

Rockness Recommends

The Wedding Present shall play requests.

April 28, 2005
1989 to 1991 was the heart of Britpop's glory days. It was an era in music defined by swirling melodies produced by shimmering guitars, making for irresistibly catchy sing-a-long choruses. Within the span of these two years, My Bloody Valentine, The Stone Roses, Ride, Charlatans UK, Trashcan Sinatras, and The Wedding Present all released albums that, to this day, I still listen to over and over again. All are still playable because all are still relevant, somehow managing not to sound too dated 16 years later. But if the question is which of these bands still fires me up enough to pump my fist in the air and exclaim, "Yes!", well, it's just no question. All apologies Kevin Shields and Ian Brown, but when I'm in the mood to rock out to Britpop, I'll throw on The Wedding Present nearly every time.

If you don't own The Wedding Present's 1989 album Bizarro or 1991's Seamonsters, it's not too late to get in on some fine pop jingle jangle. Take for example their song "Kennedy" on Bizzaro. Pretty much, this song is just David Gedge (whose gruff bass vocal styling I would normally hate if anyone but him sang that way) declaring, "Lost your look on life, too much apple pie, " a bunch of times while the same three chords are strummed a over and over. It's not revolutionary in any way, and it certainly isn't original, but it IS perfect. The Wedding Present was the type of band that knew when they were rocking out and you loved them for it. No subtle shit allowed. Later, Gedge formed the similarly underrated Cinerama and The Wedding Present was, by all accounts, dead. But in continuation of the recent old-indie rocker reunion trend, they're back on tour with a new album in tow.

Regrettably, The Wedding Present don't really rock out anymore. It's strange that a clear-cut guitar band now opts for woodwinds and strings. I mean, The Wedding Present and woodwinds?!? WTF? Their new album Take Fountain is more chamber pop (insert stab to heart here) than Britpop. Inevitably the band, or critics, will explain that their new sound is a result of "maturing" or "growing up." Why is it that "maturing" always lead to sucking? Since when do you have to be a kid to hit the distortion pedal? Will it kill a forty-year-old to strum a power chord or three? Maybe I'm being too harsh on these guys. But understand, this band's back catalog isn't just close to my stereo, it's close to my heart as well. Why, Gedge, why!

The Wedding Present is the recommended show this week not so much for where they are currently, but for what they were. They'll probably play a whole slew of songs from Take Fountain (somebody stop this bleeding) but if they play only two songs from the glory days... well, that's well worth the price of admission alone. If worse comes to worse, I might have to shout out requests and become one of THOSE guys. I really don't want to be one of those guys.

The Wedding Present play Bowery Ballroom on Friday, April 29th and Maxwells on Saturday, April 30th.


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