The summer of 2021 was a time that was already feeling a little off-kilter, but after a little song called “Chaise Longue” by Wet Leg, a band from England’s Isle of Wight, went viral overnight, things got all the more bizarre within the post-punk community. The song felt like an ad-libbed jam that was fuelled by weed and sweaty happenstance. It felt like a joke song that was never supposed to see the light of day. It was both funny, simultaneously referencing Mean Girls and a piece of furniture 80 percent of the population still mispronounces, and ridiculously catchy.
The band has since exploded, drawing widespread critical acclaim opening for the likes of IDLES and wowing audiences several times over at SXSW, but does their debut self-titled live up to the aforementioned hype? Yes. Yes it does. For the simple reason that the duo behind Wet Leg — Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers — whether they know it or not, are unapologetically themselves, playfully jumping between genres at the drop of a hat.
There are moments of heavy punk rock on “Angelica,” brit-rock on “I Don’t Wanna Go Out,” and dream pop on “Too Late Now,” but whatever the genre, it makes sense for the song and it never comes across as jarring. There isn’t a dull moment on Wet Leg, from the deadpan satirical lyricism that feels like it was picked out of a cereal box, to the driving bass guitar, pummelling drums, or the simple yet sparkling lead guitar riffs.
“Convincing” could easily be an Angel Olsen track, while “Oh No” sounds like the kind of 90s alt-rock that recalls elements of The Cranberries. There’s really something for everyone on this titan of a debut LP. The spirit of Wet Leg goes down to the core of why any musician should decide to start a band—to not take themselves too seriously, and, above all, simply to seize an opportunity to make art with their friends.