Album Review: The Wedding Present – Going, Going…



theweddingpresent-goingoingBut you guys probably knew the logical extension of that one. In reality, the latest offering by indie stalwarts The Wedding Present is almost too cumbersome to digest in a single sitting. The David Gedge-led project seems to be resurfacing yet again with a newfound adherence to exploration. The first 10-or so minutes of “Going, Going…” read like an Explosions in the Sky track, as red-level overdrive meets a placid piano track in service of something seemingly too big to stay upright. Album opener “Kittery” is a keeper, but the subsequent tracks drown in its wake. The handful of more ambient-influenced openers work to an extent, but ultimately drive even the most patient listener to urge things right along. Accordingly, things approve markedly from “Two Bridges” forward. This is finally where Gedge feels at home. “Bear” boasts a shout-along chorus and a room-shaking guitar line. “Secretary” is a Wire/Vaselines hybrid that works on every conceivable level. Later on, “Ten Sleep” channels the best of the first-wave punk groups.

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The Wedding Present ultimately circle back and revisit their ambient progressive (you know, from earlier in the album) roots, displayed in tracks like “Wales.”  Though starting with a bit of intentional alienation, the song builds to a layered coda that is well worth the price of admission.

This album sometimes feels like a calzone that was ambitiously stuffed with too many kinds of fillings. As a result, it doesn’t always make sense as a whole and frequently leaks butter everywhere. No matter. Going, Going… proudly boasts 20 tracks, and I can state with an equally proud conviction that all of them are essential. Give it a few listens and it will surely infiltrate even your most heavily-armed defenses.


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