Dry Cleaning: Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks EP (It’s OK) - Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019  

Dry Cleaning

Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks EP

It’s OK

Nov 06, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


With broadsheet papers in the UK throwing together dirge articles about how "speaking is the new singing" (for fuck's sake) the time is ripe for the remarkable Dry Cleaning's second EP, following the lo-fi delights of their Sweet Princess EP earlier this year.

It's the sound of something falling together perfectly, the elements slotting into place like puzzle pieces but ultimately showing us and making us feel something new. You feel all of this in the first fifteen seconds of opener "Dog Proposal," a song that overwhelms with glorious mandolin and intrigues with anxious, anti-poetical chatter.

They have their sound down, like many a considered band, but they also have the innate ear for melody and appealing sonic depth that makes for great, great pop bands. Vocalist Florence Shaw's mumble occasionally transmutes into a howl, her seemingly banal observations often culminating in emotional devastation or brilliantly illuminated observation.

The purposely off-titled "Spoils" taunts the comically inadequate men of the Internet, romanticizes video games pretty effectively, and even takes the time for a cruelly basic guitar solo that sounds like a middle finger to guitar solos. "What's your problem, huh?/Hot cuties ignore you," Shaw enquires, before demanding "Stream my favorite shows/Just tell me who dies, tell me who finds love," a numbed, tired request that rattles against the furious heat of Nick Buxton's drums, Lewis Maynard's bass, and Tom Dowse's guitar behind it.

"Bullshit masculine mountain conquering crap," she concludes harshly on the wonky post-punk-funk of "Jam After School," which skewers the mores of middle England's middle classes while Dowse just riffs gloriously all over it, painting it huge and red and angry.

"You're nothing but a fragrance to me now," Shaw dismisses a former dinner date as the band lurch into a heads-down doom groove sparked with spectacular splurges of guitar as exciting as the title "Sit Down Meal" is heroically banal.

It's this wondrous and simple-seeming clash of hefty, post punk with snarky sarcasm and stoic poetry that lifts the band out of the realms of the many soundalike new-New Wave UK bands and places them firmly in the territory of a band it's unwise to ignore.

Dry Cleaning's blend of American indie influenced music and strange, dissociated, listicle-like lyrics is a beguiling potion. The phrase "I could listen to them read from the phone book" could never be more applicable. (www.drycleaning.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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