Let’s Wrestle is an Indie Rock band in the truest sense of the phrase. Their latest effort In The Court of Wrestle Let’s is a charming collection of punk that’s as raw as uncooked hamburger minus the saturated fat. Influences on the album range from the rock-and-roll ballads of Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly to the self-deprecating lyrics of the Smoking Popes to alternative/indie savants like Black Flag, Pavement, The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of In The Court of Wrestle Let’s is the transparency of its song titles. “My Schedule” has singer/guitarist Wesley Patrick Gonzalez simply ruminating on his daily schedule, while the organ piping in the background evokes the true isolation Gonzalez narrates. “I’m going to my local library / and then I’m go to the charity shop / who knows where I’ll go after that, then I think I’ll go home.” He broods about putting on the kettle, forgetting, and then not having the comfort of his daily tea. The song is charismatic and lonely with a genuine self-deprecating whimsy.
Other tracks in the vein of reminiscing on personal and romantic failures include “I’m In Love with Destruction”, “I Won’t Lie To You” and “It’s Not Going to Happen” (She had a bad criminal record / She didn’t even like the films of Bruce Lee / No it’s not going to happen). Each track is based on the foundations of indie rock and catchy punk sentiments. Gonzalez’ eloquent, emotive, and straight-from-the-journal vocals succeed best when pulling heartstrings, especially on “Insects.” Both literally and metaphorically the song, along with the driving energy of its instrumentation, is charming, clever and full of hooks. The final title track is the most ambitious guitar outing thus making it the album’s most interesting effort, leaving one to wonder why more of this high energy guitar melting, drum pounding velocity isn’t spread throughout the rest of the album.
In The Court of Wrestle Let’s is a complement to anyone staggering around in their own self-induced pool of misery, frustrated with themselves as much as they are with the perpetuator of their dismay. The guitars aren’t anything revolutionary, nor the bass lines, but everything comes together well enough for Gonzalez, Lightening and Bishop to offer a record that is simultaneously as head bobbingly good as it is whiny. Groan on, Let’s Wrestle, groan on.
The entire album is streaming via Merge Records.