Every week it feels like we are being told that “THIS BAND ARE THE BEST THING EVER!” and most of the time they aren’t, sadly for us and even more so for them. The latest band being touted like this is Dry Cleaning.
Their debut ‘Sweet Princess EP’ was lauded as a brave release that distilled how fractured life on, and offline, has become. New EP ‘Boundary Road Snack and Drinks’ continues this, but it feels far more sombre and reflective affair.
‘Dog Proposal’ kicks off the EP in fine form. It has a jaunty backing track while lyrically it feels like it is discussing what it means to be British, including football loyalty and moving away from home and starting afresh. As the title suggests ‘Sombre One’ is a frank discussion about mental health issues and how society tries to put plasters over flesh wounds. The EP is bookended with another lively and jaunty number ‘Sit Down Meal’. Dry Cleaning has definitely saved the best for last. The star of the show is the droning bassline and wonky guitar riffs.
The problem with ‘Boundary Road Snack and Drinks’ is a greater complaint about new music. If you know nothing about Dry Cleaning ‘Boundary Road Snack and Drinks’ is filled with clever lyrical observations, catchy riffs and a slightly poppy-post-punk vibe. It sounds refreshing as there is bite to the lyrics, but it isn’t aggressive. However if you’ve been reading the recent hyperbole about them, and might be why you are checking out this review, it feels a bit flat. Yes they are good, they speak honestly about navigating the minefield that is 2019 with death by social media, toxic masculinity, mental health issues with a stark beauty, but are they the next big thing to make us forget our worries and give them all our spare cash? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong, Dry Cleaning are fun with ‘Boundary Road Snack and Drinks’, pretty much, doing everything it should, but it does leave a slight feeling of ‘heard all this before’ and ‘Yeah, they’re good but so was, um, what were they called”.
This is a tad harsh, but also it isn’t. Dry Cleaning is clearly a band with a singular vision and knows what they do, and don’t, want to do. They write good songs and live their shows are meant to go off, so ultimately that’s all that matters right? Yeah, but as ‘Sit Down Meal’ fades I feel an underwhelming feeling of “OK, what’s next”.
review by Nick Roseblade
Nov. 23rd – Glasgow, UK @ Great Western Festival
Nov. 24th – Sheffield, UK @ Picture House Social
Wed. Feb. 12 – Manchester, UK @ Gulliver’s
Thu. Feb. 13 – Edinburgh, UK @ Sneaky Pete’s
Fri. Feb. 14 – Glasgow, UK @ The Hug and Pint
Sat. Feb. 15 – Leeds, UK @ Hyde Park Book Club
Thu. Feb. 20 – Cambridge, UK @ Portland Arms
Fri. Feb. 21 – Liverpool, UK @ The Shipping Forecast
Sat. Feb. 22 – Birmingham, UK @ The Sunflower Lounge
Fri. Feb. 28 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
Sat. Feb. 29 – Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana
Sun. March 1 – Southampton, UK @ Heartbreakers
Tue. March 3 – London, UK @ Village Underground