SUNDAY

You’d think that the Wedding Present would have cemented its “legendary” status by now. But try as it might, the underrated band seems stuck in the margins. When the group released George Best, arguably the fastest guitar-pop record ever, in 1987, the timing seemed perfect. The Smiths had disbanded, and David Gedge & Co. seemed poised to fill the vacuum—yet they never could surpass their foppish forebears in terms of popularity. But the Weddoes were the superior band in every respect. The band’s original guitarist, Peter Solowka, kicked Johnny Marr’s butt right into the cutout bin. Solowka’s fretwork was as fast and beautiful as the fluttering of a hummingbird’s wings; in fact, the band never really recovered from his departure after the 1991 masterpiece Seamonsters. (Today, Mr. Marr is currently tanking with his solo act, and the best adjective that allmusic.com can come up with to describe his technique is “supple.”) Lyrically, Gedge far outpaced Moz. When Gedge sang “You told him what he wants to hear/And so you got another chance/But I was yours for seven years/Is that what you call a dalliance?” he was articulating the worst part of a dead romance—coming to terms with its increasing irrelevance. Meanwhile, Moz was off crooning such adolescent tripe as “No, no, no, it’s murder/Oh…and who hears when animals cry?”—words much better left unsaid and scribbled in a notebook beneath a scrawled anarchy symbol. Gedge outcads Morrissey in literate, arch song titles as well: “What Did Your Last Servant Die Of?” trumps “Vicar in a Tutu” any day of the week. Where the Wedding Present was about the complexities of adult relationships, the Smiths were a “Weird Al” parody of mopey teen angst. After a seven-year hiatus, the Wedding Present is back. Mourn that the band will never get its due with Crystal Skulls and the Jet Age Sunday, May 1, at 8:30 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $15 (202) 667-7960. (David Dunlap Jr.)