The Wedding Present - Going, Going... album review

Indie legends produce their second-era magnum opus

The Wedding Present Going, Going... album cover

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From a band that once strictly limited their sets of heart-rending thrash-indie about teen angst and extramarital intrigue to one hour, no encore, a 75-minute ninth album opening with four ponderous post-rock instrumentals based on shipping forecasts and Gallic chorales seems a provocative move.

But since reforming in 2004, iconic Leeds indie pioneers The Wedding Present have given mainman David Gedge’s rough-hewn – but always premium-grade – melodies more breathing space. Sure enough, 15 minutes in, the grime-smothered guitars of Two Bridges kick in, oozing melancholy and menace.

Drenched in the brutal lo-fi filth and fury of their Albini-produced 1991 masterpiece Seamonsters, but with added touches of pure metal and an elegant dash of Gedge’s orchestral pop side-project Cinerama, the 20 tracks of Going, Going… cohere into an ambitious noise-pop edifice.

Bear, Birdsnest and Ten Sleep are torrents of euphoric grunge hooks, Fifty-Six could be Opeth covering the Friends theme, Santa Monica is a sky-scorching finale and the speed-freaking Secretary captures the psychotic mania of anyone who’s ever been on hold to Virgin Media’s complaints department. Dense, rich and deeply rewarding.

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle (opens in new tab).