For a slacker punk trio that sloth about their garden shed HQ, Let’s Wrestle’s work ethic doesn’t quite add up with their Pavement-isms. Since WPG (vocals), Mike Lightning (bass) and Darkus Bishop (drums) channelled their love for H√ºsker D√º and all things DIY into toothy, boss-eyed drawings and skeletal guitar rackets they’ve released two 7″ singles, a brilliant mini album and have played every toilet venue in the country‚” twice. That makes this their debut long player, warts-n-all at 16 tracks long, and quite possibly the most well-humoured record you’ll hear this year.

Being considered a joke though, is just a nob gag away from being a champion of wit, and Let’s Wrestle are the band that drawled “We love our mums but don’t talk about it/We’ve got huge cocks and don’t you doubt it!” on their first ever release. A fair distance from Morrissey’s intellectual prose perhaps, but WPG remains an Eddie Argos that knows when to rein it in before the jokes on him and his band become a novelty act.

‘Diana’s Hair’ – a mid-pace sway about how bassist Lightning’s bouffant resembles the Queen of Hearts’ quaffed do – perhaps illustrates this best, name-checking Charles & Camilla with a wry grin whilst also being an unmistakeably touching bromance song. Or ‘Song For Old People’, about being “wrinkled like a prune”. Or the uncharacteristically tinkering ‘In Dreams’, which features the boyish couplet, “I fell in love with Jesus, but when we went out people teased us”, much to a cheeky snigger before evolving into an aching lament about the fairer sex. And girls do of course fuel Let’s Wrestle as much as the yelping punk pop that they emulate so well. They formed in their teens after all, probably to snare perspective partners with the ‘ol ‘I’m in a band’ line. Judging by the frustrated ‘It’s Not Going To Happen’ and a grinding ‘I Won’t Lie To You’, the ladies may not be queuing just yet – or the right ones aren’t, at least – but the band do seem to come out of each experience a little more optimistic, and with two album highlights by way of severance – the bouncy self-improvement anthem ‘We Are The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon’ and the defiant, downbeat ‘I’m In Fighting Mode’.

Sixteen tracks is so often too much for any album from any band, and despite there being three short, tolerable interludes here, ‘In The Court Of…’ could still be trimmed into a learner beast, axing the run-of-the-mill ‘Tanks’ and the waltzy ‘My Schedule’ that shines a light on WPG’s limited vocal range. Let’s Wrestle have created something special here though – an underdog album to cherish and take comfort in.

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