Nov 22, 2017

I absolutely love The Wedding Present. For those unfamiliar, I would describe them as a British indie rock band that started in the mid-’80s that, early on, took cues from the U.K. post-punk movement (think The Fall) but mixed that sound with super catchy, fast pop songs and an endless supply of lyrics about relationships, failed relationships, love, and unrequited love. The songs are always full of wit and often really spoke to me at the time when I first discovered them in the early ‘90s, shortly after the release of their acclaimed Bizarro LP. As time went on, their sound changed a little bit, but there was a time in the mid-’90s when The Wedding Present could do no wrong, and everything they did was one hundred percent perfect. They’ve had many lineup changes since, but their earliest records still remain as some of my favorites. When I heard about this release, a recent “live in the studio” re-recording of their first LP with Steve Albini at the helm released for the thirtieth anniversary of the original, I was pretty skeptical since almost all instances of bands re-recording earlier material results in something subpar. This re-recording doesn’t exactly disappoint—it’s just as advertised—but I do have to say that the gritty, bass-heavy Albini production eliminates all of the ultra-brightness in the guitars the original LP has an overabundance of, making it a completely different listen, almost like a different group of songs entirely. If you are a fan of the original, these re-recorded songs probably wont turn you off, as they’re close enough to the originals to retain their spark, although not really different enough to make this a standout release either. –Mark Twistworthy (Happy Happy Birthday To Me, [email protected])