The Wedding Present: Valentina

Look, I know these guys are old, but I still find them incredibly compelling. There’s something immediate about their music, entertaining and clear headed. Just like the best of the bands they’ve clearly influenced, like Art Brut, The Rakes, Maxïmo Park, The Futureheads, The Libertines and on and on, they lead with great storytelling, seeming confusion over chicks and wry humor. They also continue their crisp, live-sounding production that Steve Albini first piloted on their seminal work, Seamonsters, and again on the album right before this one, El Rey. And while Albini isn’t twiddling the knobs on this one, they hired an equally experienced (but much more commercial) dude, Andrew Scheps, on the boards and luckily he didn’t fuck with the formula too much. There are certain bands that I find myself going to when at a loss of what to listen to, and just want something solid, consistent and rockin’. While I hardly ever admit out loud to old Alkaline Trio being one of those, I’m not ashamed to say that The Wedding Present, including this new one, are a great go to when stuck for inspiration.