Being at the top of the Wedding Present's thank-you list may not be much of an honor. On Take Fountain, the revived Present's first release in eight years, that prestigious spot is granted to Sally Murrell -- former girlfriend of the band's leader, David Gedge, and his longtime collaborator in Cinerama, an outfit that didn't survive the couple's breakup in 2002. But Gedge's kudos to his erstwhile lover take on a tone of epic sarcasm in light of Fountain's subject matter: heartbreak, heartbreak, heartbreak. And it's not just the wretchedly maudlin kind, either. As usual, Gedge wields a poison pen and garroting wit, skewering his trademark guitar catharsis with pop hooks that inflict irreparable emotional laceration on their way out. Of course, the sandpaper-throated songwriter has been whetting the Wedding Present's edge for almost two decades now, and as far as comebacks go, Fountain erupts with a vengeance. But making the most acidly bitter breakup album imaginable and thanking your ex in the liner notes? Dude, that's just cold.
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