Pop Music Review : Wedding Present: Edgy Rock

The fascination of the English group the Wedding Present is like that of a natural disaster. The quartet's high-tension pop threatens to blow apart and unleash torrents of destructive emotion at any moment, but the group sits on the edge and plays off that threat.

Rooted in the malcontent drone of Joy Division and the pretty yet biting melodiousness of the Smiths, the Wedding Present adds a constant buzz of rhythm guitar and comes up with rock that's ready to snap.

The band drew a sizable following to the Whisky on Tuesday for its first Los Angeles show in two years, and it played with the irritated edge that has set it apart.

Singer David Gedge delivered his witty lines in a thick Leeds accent, blurting the lyrics in deep, annoyed tones and following them up with impatient grunts and occasional yowls. Each instrument rang out clear and defined, while edgy guitar hurried the pop-based songs along.

The Ohio-based indie band Scrawl opened the show with powerful harmonies whose blend of the eerie and the pretty bubbled with underlying anger. The band unleashed its contained aggression in small doses, like surprise attacks; a perfectly unpredictable prelude for the headliners.

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