REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Let’s Wrestle score solid takedown with self-titled 3rd LP

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

This correspondent first witnessed an impetuous Let’s Wrestle back in 2008, when they were all bouncing drunken emo – and were still in their teens (thus: “Let’s wrestle, let’s fucking wrestle, ahoo-oooo..!”).


“Let's Wrestle” by Let's Wrestle will be released by Fortuna POP! on 10 February 2014

However, times have changed and it has to be said that the years have been kind. Recently signed to Fortuna POP!, the press release promises “a new phase of maturity and sophistication” and, nearing its ten year anniversary, the band have pulled some surprises from their once-sweaty singlets. Let’s Wrestle are contrarians of finest British tradition and they wear their British influences proudly and often. The album bounds out of the blocks with “Rain Ruins Revolution” – a sporty number on generational prejudices, while first single “Codeine and Marshmallows” is a sweet lament set against the same rainy backdrop (“codeine and Marshmallows have an aftertaste / of sick and blood, and loneliness / I don’t know how to get home”). Not just the rain, of course, troubles our heroes – the album charts the noisy lives of twenty-something Londoners (specifically ones living in Hackney, Fortuna POP! helpfully informs us) and so is replete with tales of loves unrequited, and the sleepless contemplation of adulthood. Yet they have maintained their punchy youthful exuberance too – and certainly none of the songs outstay their welcome. Let’s Wrestle are: Wesley Patrick Gonzalez (vocals and guitar) Max Claps (guitar and vocals) Sam Pillay (bass and vocals – recently moved on to focus on his own band), and Darkus Bishop (drums). Max Claps has been borrowed from The Proper Ornaments it would seem – and, when it comes to guest appearances, Let’s Wrestle also performs well. Darren Hayman, Roxanne Clifford (Veronica Falls), Meilyr Jones (Race Horses) and Max Bloom (Yuck) all feature. If the album sails a little close, at times, to the waters of Britpop, it is no bad thing. And, anyway, the press release puts it far more eloquently – “straddling the sounds of the psych pop pioneers of the 60s and the Laurel Canyon cowboys of the 70s”. That is a fair description. But, we digress – as it is Let’s Wrestle’s homespun ambition and subtle depths that really make this album worthy of your ears. 7/10