The moment's gone (a tribute to The Wedding Present)

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Q Magazine, December, 1989

RCA PL74302 LP/Cass/CD

Having had fun with last year's Ukrainian folk-thrash mini-LP, on their second album proper the Leeds quartet leave their debut George Best standing, not by way of proffering more distinctive melodies (natural tunesmiths they aren't) but by invigorating their limited two-chord guitar thrash, testing its extremes and recording it with beefy clarity. Side one starts by rather uneventfully repeating the riffing blueprints of old until their Top 40 hit Kennedy's tougher rhythmic snap and extended jagged jangle. Here the tone changes, as the guitar coda idea is pursued with such relentless vigour that the slowburning What Have I Said Now? and Bewitched and the nine-minute Take Me! start to throb with the same gloriously repetitive two-chord lead/rhythm overlap that The Velvet Underground initiated, building far more tension that just a dropping in quiet passages every now and then. Over these bracing musical spirits, David Gedge's contrastingly melancholic words observe everyday instances of greed, jealousy and discord with an appealing directness and lack of bluster. ****

Martin Aston

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