Wet Leg jab with humor to disrupt these expectations. The glee that greeted the Mean Girls references and basic innuendo in “Chaise Longue” seemed a bit overdone—proof of a listenership desperate for levity (and presumably having overlooked the absurdism in Dry Cleaning’s debut)—but there are genuinely funny moments elsewhere on the album. It works best to amplify the various states of existential horror they find themselves in, though they occasionally land a devastating insult. The moody surf of “Piece of Shit” fields a call from a raging ex, and at first Teasdale stonewalls their accusations, using passivity to rile them even further: “I’m such a slut?/Alright/Whatever helps you sleep at night .” Then she turns on them, joined by Chambers in a strange, mousy little harmony that adds insult to injury: “Yeah, like a piece of shit you either sink or float/So you take her for a ride on your daddy’s boat.”
Otherwise, there’s lots of suck-my-dick, pubes, and wanking, and mocking references to mummy and daddy that can wear thin as Wet Leg lean on the banality of outrageousness. Sometimes when they take the low road, it’s just the low road: “You’re so woke/Diet Coke,” they taunt on “Oh No,” a lyrical nadir that deepens as they consider excessive phone use, a topic nobody needs to write about ever again. (At least they offset it with some thrillingly purgative chaos.) And the last song, “Too Late Now,” is a doubtless surely felt panic attack about the point of it all that concludes: “I just need a bubble bath to set me on a higher path,” a skewering of self-care that already feels past.
More acute is their keen eye for assessing self-delusion: how what used to feel fun curdles by one’s mid-20s and thrill-seeking simply blunts the lows. While none of these are new observations (they’re the bedrock of the emotional indie-rock that followed the old party-starting kind) Wet Leg approach them with sly nuance. “Being in Love” suggests a permeable barrier between the feelings of total depression and infatuation, a risky romanticization that they sell on the strength of a big, dumb, knees-first mudslide of a chorus. When a squall of noise boils over at the end of “Angelica,” a song about a shit party, Teasdale sings blithely about “Good times/All the time”—it’s “We Can’t Stop” with Red Stripe and wallflowers.
Some dork at another shit party on “I Don’t Want to Go Out” is moving to LA with his band. “Are you gonna stay young forever?” Teasdale asks in a daze, before delivering a spot-on Jarvis impersonation: “You said yeah—and I just walk away.” Much as Teasdale and Chambers sometimes delight in childish oblivion (the shambling “Supermarket” revels in the whoops-a-daisy chaos of stoned grocery shopping) you get the sense they can’t imagine anything worse than being condemned to eternal youth. Their debut doesn’t skimp on outlining the horrors of being a youngish woman—but its giddy, wild-eyed pleasures are also a testament to creating your own reality to survive.
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