On Let’s Wrestle’s sophomore effort, Nursing Home, the scrappy UK punk trio delivers another collection of scatterbrained, oddball songs that never feel contrived or gimmicky. But where 2009’s debut In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s found a perfect balance between irreverent lyrics and vibrantly raw hooks, Nursing Home excels more at the former than the latter. The group certainly hasn’t lost its wit—it deftly tackles mundane topics with smug sarcasm and amusing self-awareness. It also shows some maturity with moments of sincerity, angst, and introspection. The slower, emotional songs are some of the record’s most powerful; the closing track, “Getting Rest,” puts a sad, dark twist on the band’s well-trod slacker themes: “When our time was breaking, I was still getting rest / but when I broke, I got everything off my chest / that’s the way the world works today.” Musically, though, it’s mostly more of the same—off-tune harmonies shoved into gritty punk riffs. Producer Steve Albini keeps things simple, though a few tracks, like “In The Suburbs,” are bigger and heavier than anything on In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s. With a bright, clean hook, “I Will Not Give In” is one of the catchiest songs the group has done to date. Overall, though, too many tracks feel like filler. Nursing Home is notable for its lyrical successes, but doesn’t have enough memorable songs to highlight them.
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