The Wedding Present - Valentina
Having spent the last four years on the road performing their classic albums George Best and Bizarro, The Wedding Present have finally delivered a follow up to 2008’s El Rey - and it is exactly what you would expect from a band of their history and reputation.
All the classic Wedding Present elements are here: the typically strident and acerbic lyrics, the occasional lengthy guitar wig out, David Gedge’s unmistakeably taciturn voice and songs that wring every last drop of emotion from the deceptively simple arrangements. The rat-a-tat drumming intro and downbeat delivery of ‘You’re Dead’ kicks things off nicely while ‘524 Fidelio’ is a nifty piece of pop/punk perkiness, while the maudlin beauty of finale ‘Mystery Date’ has a brooding presence reminiscent of the band at their commercial peak.
Not everything works, however. ‘The Girl From The DDR’ is a little to bit sickly sweet for its own good and had the feedback laced outro to the heavy, bass driven ‘Back A Bit..Stop’ being left on the cutting room floor it could have been an indie dance floor classic.
Minor niggles aside Valentina is an album that fits perfectly into the exalted canon of one the best British indie bands of the last three decades. It’s just a shame that on their upcoming tour The Wedding Present will also be performing 1991's Seamonsters in its entirety, as it's possible these excellent new songs will be largely ignored by a chunk of the audience, there purely to revel in the joyous tunes of youth. Do yourself a favour: pick up a copy of Valentina from the merch stall on your way home - it's worth it.