Music News

Let's Wrestle: In the Court of the Wrestling Let's

Artist: Let's Wrestle

Title: In the Court of the Wrestling Let's
Release date: March 23
Label: Merge

Along with a few New Times comrades, I'm gonna be on Arizona State University's radio station, the Blaze. Our block of guest DJ starts at 11 a.m. with clubs editor Ben Leatherman. Martin Cizmar, me, and web editor Jonathan McNamara follow at noon, 1, and 2, respectively.

I'll probably play "My Arms Don't Bend That Way, Damn It," the first song from this Let's Wrestle record. That is, if there's time permitting (in other words, if they don't make me talk to much). It's by far the best song on this British slop-rock band's new record.

Merge Records is on a little hot streak right now. First, there was the new Spoon record, earlier this week there was the highly likable She & Him disc, and now there's Let's Wrestle.

This is kind of a goofy collection of songs by a band with a lot of ideas yet are still trying to find the best way to execute them. It's reminiscent of early Pavement, back before that band transformed into a well-oiled and professional rock 'n' roll machine. The playing is loose but confident and the singer's got the sort of droll, almost tuneless delivery that only the Brits can get away with.

Let's Wrestle's underproduced jangle pop all starts to sound alike about halfway through the record, mostly because of the much songs seem to stagger around, as if these guys hit the pub before recording each song.

They'll probably tighten up and figure it all out at some point, but by then, they'll be just another charmless indie band. Just like what happened to Pavement.

Best song: The aforementioned opening track, a blast of loud pop greatness.
Rotation: Medium-heavy
Deja vu: Bored British kids with guitars
I'd rather listen to: The Fall
Grade: B

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

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Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett