The Wedding Present

Take Fountain

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From the start, Cinerama was not a drastic diversion from the Wedding Present. David Gedge rounded off whatever remaining edges were left in the Weddoes' sound and developed a crack chamber pop group. Softer songs off Watusi and Saturnalia, such as "Catwoman," "2, 3 Go," and "Real Thing," dropped hints. Gedge's gruff yelps vanished, replaced by bedroom whispers; roaring electric guitars were swapped out for delicate acoustic strums, with extensive use of strings, brass, woodwinds, and keyboards. After Cinerama released their first album, they began to sound more and more like the Wedding Present, to the point where the two groups were virtually indistinguishable from one another. In 2004, Gedge and his associates began recording the fourth Cinerama album with Watusi producer Steve Fisk and resurfaced instead with the sixth Wedding Present album. To no surprise, Take Fountain sounds just like Cinerama and the Wedding Present. Opener "Interstate 5" gets it across right off the bat, its first six minutes an effectively repetitive chugging groove that shifts into a drifting hybrid of Ennio Morricone and John Barry for the final two minutes -- a bracing zip up the West Coast turns into a restful gondola ride alongside an Italian village. From then on, the album is populated by a range of three- to four-minute pop songs that you're accustomed to hearing from Gedge. For every hushed, playful passage, there's an explosive chorus, and for every verse dealing with some form of romantic frustration, there's...a bunch of romantically frustrated verses. Most songs are of the standard that made Gedge one of the most loved indie figures of the '80s and '90s, though the bluntly sexual phrasings that repelled George Best/Tommy-era fans from Watusi, Saturnalia, and everything released by Cinerama remain. Take Fountain is a solid Wedding Present album, one that will satisfy those who have been following Gedge all along. (As an important footnote, the Wedding Present name was reactivated in time to record one final Peel Session before John Peel's passing in October of 2004.)

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