The Wedding Present
For this second set, guitarist/ vocalist David Gedge and his ever-changing line up go with a major label but continue with the three-chord rhythm-guitar rock, fast without losing the underground pop-rock rhythm, moving along like a commuter train, ringing like a warning bell by the tracks, looking back to England glory days of a decade earlier when some of the punks kept the energy while losing some (but not all) of the anger.
The set moves along like a roller coaster, mixing romance with bitterness, the safe with hints of scary, focusing on the fast but slowing down to pull you in, mostly fun but hints of menace to keep it interesting. While it’s easy to hear influences, it’s even easier to hear how this likely influenced bands in the decades that followed.
LINK TO SELLERS:
The greatest song of the 1980s (and a great sleeve design for the cassette single):
Treat Her Right
Tied to the Tracks
Rating: **** (Recommended)
While the band likely would have liked to have this come out a bit rawer, the music still sounds great with the major label production. The first side is solid to the end, all originals except a cover of Beefheart’s “Hit A Man.” The side closes with Sandman’s “No Reason” (which sounds especially haunting in retrospect, after Sandman’s fatal on-stage heart attack in 1999).
Side two is filled with originals by various members of the band. (After this second album, Sandman would form Morphine and this band would move to Rounder, a better fit for this outfit.)
Another recommended set, none of that “I Got My Mojo Working” crap. Instead this is a collection of slightly oddball but refreshingly honest white-boy blues.
(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Ups Sideways in the 1970s)