June 1, 2006

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The Wedding Present, Search for Paradise: Singles 2004-2005
Manifesto Records, 2006

Whether or not David Gedge’s re-formed Wedding Present has been trying to take his post-Smiths-ness wide in the states off and on for 20 years now, an introduction is in order. Being British and a byproduct of the '80s, the band has the necessary Peel Session credentials and plenty of back catalog, hence this kind-of best-of clumps together a set of recent singles certain to wow heavy users of Hood, Beat Happening (Heather Lewis contributed vocals to sister band Weddoes at one point) and various Joe Blows who tend to oversalt their borderline-edgy dance-wave with forced British accents, but that device isn’t used to divert attention from crap songwriting in this instance, as the tunes are marinated in no small amount of ear-glue. “I’m Further North Than You” gets a couple of unnecessary remixes where the original would have sufficed; it’s a jangly piece of NME-bait suggestive of Ian Drury collaborating with Sonic Youth on a rewrite of “Silly Love Songs,” ie pure comfort noise for unpleasant visits to the GP. “Ringway to Seatac” is similarly old school, like a few spare parts from the Cure’s “Killing an Arab” days tinged with Xanaxed-soccer-hooligan sentimentality. B-

Eric W.Sagaer


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