Friday, May 27, 2011

Album Review: "Nursing Home" by Let's Wrestle

"Nursing Home" by Let's Wrestle was released on
Merge Records on May 17, 2011
Let's Wrestle are an English rock band based out of London who've stirred up quite a bit of hype for themselves in the states.  The band's first album, "In The Court of Wrestling, Lets" got them enough attention to get picked up for their second album on Merge Records.  "Nursing Home", the band's second effort isn't too far from the tree in terms of the sound that they created for themselves, but they've certainly evolved as a band.  The lyrics are quirky and catchy to perfectly compliment the driving indie rock sounds they produce, albeit the lyrics get a bit absurd sometimes.  Overall there's nothing wrong with the album, but it tends to drone on a bit with such similar subject matter repeating over and over.

Want a case in point?  On the opening track, "In Dreams Part II", I stopped the song and played it back just to clarify that I did in fact hear him singing about punching a Pidgeotto in the face.  He did.  It's not something that draws the listener away, unless of course you want all of your music to be serious and somber.  It's clear that the guys in Let's Wrestle are still having fun with it, and it's certainly a joy to listen to.  "Nursing Home" boasts the indie rock sound of mid-90's but blends it with the early pop-punk mentalities of bands like Green Day and Weezer.  This sound is something that I'm always excited to jump right into, but after about half of the album it's already begun to drag a bit.  There are a few tracks the still stick out amongst the crowd like the previously mentioned album opener, "Bad Mamories", and "There's A Rockstar In My Room".  These tracks stick out with catchy choruses like the rest of the album, but the subject matter is a bit more interesting than the typical hanging on to your youth indie-rock vibes that the rest of the album shows us.

But to say that it's the same old-same old with this album is a bit unfair, because they do try to stretch their chops a bit with tracks like "For My Mother".  All of the sincerity and honesty that can be found in the song with a chorus of "And now she's gone/My mother's sad but I'll take care of her" is sort of overshadowed by the quality of the lyrics.  Granted lead singer Wesley Patrick Gonzalez isn't necessarily known for his heart-stopping lyrics, when you hear the track open with the lines "If the children need to go to school/Well I'll do that, that is cool", you kind of cringe at the forced rhyme.  His lyricism doesn't really strike massive problems throughout the album, but it certainly grates over time.

Overall, the album marks a natural progression for the band, but I'm not too sure that Gonzalez has grown in leaps and bounds or anything as a lyricist or as a songwriter.  Let's Wrestle has their head on straight and "Nursing Home" does power right on through its thirty minute run-time, but the tracks sort of blend together in a way that it's hard to differentiate one from the other aside from the two slower tracks of "For My Mother" and "Getting Rest".  It's a nice album to drive to in the summer heat with windows down, or really anytime where you don't have to sit down and analyze the lyrics.  Gonzalez certainly paints the picture he's trying to convey in a perfect image, but that doesn't mean that it's a masterpiece.

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