Domino · April 8, 2022
British indie rock duo Wet Leg have finally released their long-awaited debut after a string of singles that performed exceedingly well during 2021. The most popular of which, “Chaise Longue,” released all the way back in June (several months ahead of the release of this album) and amassed over 14 million plays on Spotify — very impressive for a group that hadn’t released an album up to that point. Finally, after a long period of buildup, the self-titled debut released, and it’s a bland, homogenous, uninspired project through and through. It seems as though all the hype was for almost nothing, as Wet Leg did not deliver what was promised on the singles leading up to this album.
The album does start off strong with the opening track, “Being in Love.” The chord progression is really unique, and the vocals on this track incorporate some cool melodies as well, all while being produced in a clear and gratifying manner. There are some quick synth chords toward the beginning of the track that add a lot, even if they’re just there for a few seconds. Another highlight is “Wet Dream,” which has an infectious, catchy drumwork throughout the track — much more engaging than the simple backbeat that lines most of the other tracks on the album. The vocals also have substantially more attitude and personality than pretty much anything else on the album which definitely works in the song’s favor, especially the effect-heavy backing vocals. “Ur Mum” is definitely the best out of the singles that lead up to this album, and “Wet Dream” and “Being in Love” have a lot of much-needed personality that seems to be absent from the rest of the album. The vocals are a lot more present in the mix than they usually are, which draws more attention to them. There’s a part at the end where the singer starts a long, monotone scream which works exceedingly well in the context of the song. There are some other cool moments on the album as well, like the shoegaze-esque breakdown on “Angelica,” or the well-placed minimalist synth chords on “Piece of Shit,” or the percussive, reverb heavy background noises on “Too Late Now.” However, none of these are really expanded upon in an interesting way, or explored in depth at all. Places where these moments could be expanded on are completely replaced by what comprises the rest of the album — generic, dime-a-dozen indie rock that’s been heard before.
If the best parts of this album are the parts that exude a certain personality of the band, the worst parts are its absence — which is more often than not. For example, “Chaise Longue” has bland and uninspired vocal melodies, and the hook can be annoying to listen to at times. This is the same case for “Supermarket” and “Oh No.” Most of the instrumentation is pretty generic as well, and sometimes it sounds like all of the songs bleed into each other and become one large, homogenous ball. “Wet Dream,” for example, is one of the highlights of the album, but it’s followed up by “Convincing,” which is a song that follows the exact same formula with less interesting songwriting. It’s a redundancy in the tracklist and nothing would be lost if it was never released. “I Don’t Wanna Go Out” is another completely unremarkable, mind-numbing track, save for the guitar riff which almost sounds as though it were plagiarized from a Nirvana song.
Wet Leg has some cool moments sprinkled throughout it, but most of the time, it doesn’t feel like the band has the capacity or courage to explore those ideas. There are so many missed opportunities, and so many songs that could have been better if they were just given more thought. To put it bluntly, the tracks often sound bland and lifeless. There are some interesting songs here and there, moments where Wet Leg’s personality really shines through, but not nearly as many as there should be.