Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers make a nifty racket together. Hailing from the Isle of Wight, the longtime friends decided to form the band Wet Leg just a couple years ago and quickly got down to the business of crafting arch, enticing pop songs informed by the disaffection of postpunk and the shiny personality of nineteen-sixties AM radio bomb bursts. If Best Coast transitioned to be a Waitresses cover band that rewrote lyrics to include more modern references, the material might sound like what is pressed into the grooves of Wet Leg’s self-titled debut album.
Strangely, Wet Leg gives the impression of being cunning and guileless at the same time. “Chaise Longue” was the track that effectively introduced the band when it was released as a single just about a year ago, and its emblematic of their crafty playfulness. Against a driving hook, the lyrics indulge in deniable dirtiness, coining slang for a college degree specifically so Teasdale can intone, “I went to school and I got the big D/ I got the big D/ I got the big D/ I got the big D.” It’s sophomoric and irresistible, which are two of the most delicious ingredients that can be added to big pop-song sundae.
The album keeps dropping delectable dollops: the indie-pop gem “Angelica,” the escalating “Too Late Now,” and the tender, precise “Loving You.” Even as Wet Leg occasionally calls to mind other specific acts — “Oh No” sounds like one of the hip-hop smacked primal screams from Thao and the Get Down Stay Down — the general sense of the album is of invention and originality. Wet Leg is the kind of album that spins out giddy joy.