Pop & Hiss

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Too sweet to rock? Let's Wrestle knows the nice lads win in the end

March 23, 2010 |  2:04 pm

Somehow this happens every South by Southwest. Despite the fact that nearly every band in attendance at the annual festival plays somewhere between five and 10 times, shows are missed, commitments are broken, schedules run late and conflicts suddenly materialize. Such was the case every time I tried to catch Merge Records' Let's Westle, who had the misfortune of playing opposite the Besnard Lakes on Thursday night in Austin, Texas.  

Such a shame, as the jangly Brit-poppers, with their prep-school look and sing-along "ba-ba-ba" backing harmonies, would have been the perfect tonic to much of the noise and atmospheric music that permeates the Austin experience. Just check single "We Are the Men You'll Grow to Love Soon," which turns nice-guy bitterness into a three-minute slice of upbeat charm.

Willing to wait for all the pretty gals to outgrow their bad-boy phase, singer Wesley Patrick Gonzalez pleads, "We are the most reliable guys in the world," and throws in some hand claps before the girls with the bangs have time to roll their eyes. Much of the band's "In the Court of the Wrestling Let's," which was released today, is equally clever and fast. The act is playing tonight with Titus Andronicus, a Jersey punk-sprawl outfit that has gotten plenty of raves on this here blog, so now there are multiple reasons to stay out late on a school night.

-- Todd Martens

Let's Wrestle with Titus Andronicus at the Bootleg Theatre, 2220 Beverly Blvd. Tickets are $10.