The lads in Let's Wrestle made their name as awkward goofs with a record collection that started and ended in the early '90s -- right around the time of Seamonsters. They made a couple of records of humorous, adolescent indie, one produced in a stroke of genius by Steve Albini, and it seemed like they'd keep on trucking like that forever. Much like the high school kid who goes away to college, discovers some new bands, and comes back a little looser and willing to experiment musically, their self-titled third album shows the band growing up quite a bit. Adding new sounds to the mix like harmony vocals, violins, and horns, writing songs that show some maturity (with fewer silly jokes and puns), slowing the tempos down, and showing off some nice dynamics, the album is a leap forward without losing any of the energy or vigor of previous work. It sounds like the guy writing the songs, Wesley Patrick Gonzalez, probably got out in the world and did a little bit of adult-style living. Maybe a bit of heartbreak, too, judging from a look-see at the lyric sheet and from the calmer, more melancholy cast, to the songs and his voice. All this talk of maturity and growing up may make it seem like the album is a bit of a chore to get through at worst; a grower at best. The opposite is true. It's the most accessible of the group's albums thanks to the lack of oddball lyrics and awkward vocals. It's also their most varied set, with a well-balanced number of jangling rockers and introspective ballads. It's always a toss-up when a band known for youthful hijinks hits a certain age; more often than not they should just pack it in the minute they get a day job or sprout a gray hair. In Let's Wrestle's case, if this initial step into adulthood is any indicator of future work, it will be a pleasure to follow their progress. If not, at least we have this excellent album to look back on fondly.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra