I've started really listening to their music recently. I actually really like them. A little more than I thought I would at first. They seemed to get more polished and country as they got further into the 90s. I don't think very many people know them over here in the US.
Hey, FYI the Wets are extremely popular here in the UK and also very unfashionable amongst the hipsters out there. Not that such things should concern Prefab fans. The sound can defintely be linked to Prefab in the same way that there music has stylistic connections to other Scot pop groups like the excellent Deacon Blue.
I rather like the Wets too. 'Wishing I was Lucky' is a blaster as are other great songs like 'Sweet Little Mystery'. A perfect mixture of passion and pop hooks in my opinion. The songwriting is often sloppy in parts and albums usually have a little too much filler on them. However, at there best, such as on the songs I mentioned above Wet Wet Wet are an excellent band! As an ex-hipster myself I am now able to admit this to myself.
I actually discovered them around the same time I was getting into Prefab Sprout. Initially, I just blew them off as sort of lame after seeing a few videos, but just recently started really listening to their music. I'm actually surprised at how much I enjoy their songs, especially Wishing I Was Lucky. I can't believe that song wasn't bigger over here in the U.S.
I completely agree with you on sometimes stilted songwriting and album filler. It's one thing that I'm finding sort of frustrating as I've started actually buying their albums. I can easily see how certain people would just easily dismiss them, but they did play their own instruments, write their own songs, and Marti Pellow does have a really good voice.
Have you listened to any of their more recent stuff? They really did mature with time, but the music sort of lost the fun enthusiasm that was there in the beginning.
I also think it's cool that they took their name from a Scritti Politti song. I actually discovered Paddy and Prefab through an interview he did on Green Gartside.