Wet Leg Review: A Dazzling Debut That Easily Lives Up To Its Hype

If any album had a lot to live up to this year, it’s been Wet Leg’s eponymous debut. Off the back of a handful of highly acclaimed singles, the anticipation bubbled away to the point where the hype around them itself had hype.

Wet Leg band


If any album had a lot to live up to this year, it’s been Wet Leg’s eponymous debut. Off the back of a handful of highly acclaimed singles, the anticipation bubbled away to the point where the hype around them itself had hype.

Appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and James Corden’s Late Late Show only wetted the appetite further, as did their second-place finish in the BBC’s Influential Sound of 2022 poll and YouTube’s UK Artist on the Rise 2022 billing.

The question therefore posed of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers was whether they could live up to the high bar set by their singles, such as ‘Wet Dream’ and their novelty song ‘Chaise Longue’ – which alone have garnered over 8 million and 13 million streams on Spotify, respectively. Safe to say, that’s exactly what they’ve achieved with their first album.

In fact, the duo seem unburdened by the weight of expectation, free to move in as much the same way they do in their recent music video for ‘Angelica’, which was shot on their native island.

What this unperturbed aura largely stems from is their ability to point to the absurd with wit and charm – coupled, of course, with catchy hooks and early 00s-sounding guitar. This brings a lightness of touch as they capture and reflect the existential angst of our times. “I try to meditate but I just medicate” (‘Being In Love’); “you’re so woke, diet coke… / I feel Zen, fucking Zen” (‘Oh No’); and quite simply, “suck my fucking dick” (‘Ur Mum’) representing just a handful of pithy, lyrical examples.

All the tracks seem to chart such modern-day concerns, creating a piece that feels total and whole; as though we get to know a little more about these two, simply through the relatable lyrics they throw at us. They are a reflection of us all, with an album that often induces the same wholesomeness as watching Gogglebox.

There are sexier, more glamorous moments too of course. The previously released ‘Wet Dream’ has a climactic swagger about it, whilst the more psychedelic ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Out’, with its vocals that at times resembles Big Thief’s Capacity, is the kind of track that deserves to be listened to during a full-throttled drive at night.

The one thing it potentially risked, pitched at such a register as general despair for the mundanity of the world (and not to mention Teasdale’s “loudest scream” in ‘Ur Mum’), was lacking a release valve; a gentler moment or two to help breathe life into the pulsating prowess most of it holds.

Wet Leg Isle of Wight

Thankfully, parts of ‘Convincing’ – which sees Chambers take up the vocal mantle (resembling a husky, subtler Stevie Nicks) – and the synthy, sorrowful ‘Loving You’, do the job. (Not that the latter should be seen as too heart-rending, with wry lyrics such as “You say you think about me in the midnight hour / I know that you’re just rubbing one out up in the shower, honey”).

It would be an added for this album to show just slightly more range — the sort which real masterpieces demonstrate. Though you expect once more in their stride, this band will go the distance and exhibit that at some point in the future. I therefore fall foul of the classic five-star reviewer conundrum: this album isn’t 100% perfect, which the full marks would suggest.

Some artists aim to try and transport their listener to another world, acting as a means of escapism. This is even hinted at by the “somewhere in the land of leg” messaging splashed across the music video for ‘Ur Mum’, realised earlier this week.

Yet really, what Wet Leg do so well is make a narrative and artistic merit of the world most of us already occupy: the world of ‘Supermarket’, the album’s penultimate track, and of a disappointing, drink-fuelled house party as told through the story of ‘Angelica’.

The conclusion of the album, ‘Too Late Now’, even breaks out into a brilliantly self-aware and self-conscious pattern of thought, which once again bears a strong dose of relatability. Teasdale’s candid lines “I don’t need no dating app to tell me if I look like crap / to tell me if I’m thin or fat to tell me should I shave my rat” eventually even become an admittance that “I’m not sure if this is a song”.

It very much is – and a good one at that, from a band that appear to be making the entire Isle of Wight (finally) look cool. Their existential depth, intelligent relatability in their lyrics and, quite simply, some fucking great musicality, will no doubt stand them in good stead. We have a habit of building artists up, only to knock them down. You would imagine, and hope, Wet Leg’s anti-celeb ability to note the absurd in everything will slice right through this.

Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers were tasked with living up to the hype of their popular singles. With this debut, they’ve shown they have more than a leg to stand on – a slippery one at that – and in fact remain firmly planted amongst the next batch of great British bands.

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