Dry Cleaning: New Long Leg (4AD) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, January 28th, 2022  

Dry Cleaning

New Long Leg

4AD

Apr 01, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


This time last year, Dry Cleaning were riding the crest of a wave. Having just completed a sold-out UK tour they were on course to smash the festival circuit and almost certainly become one of the biggest acts to break out of the UK’s underground music scene in a very long time. Then came the pandemic, and with it lockdown leading to the postponement of live music until further notice.

However, that didn’t stop Dry Cleaning from finishing what they’d started. Having only formed in 2019, the four-piece put out two of that year’s finest EPs in the shape of Sweet Princess and its follow-up Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks. Indeed, it has been something of a meteoric rise for a band that only formed after a karaoke night yet one that’s fully earned its stripes albeit in such a short period of time.

The quartet—Florence Shaw (vocals), Tom Dowse (guitar), Lewis Maynard (bass), and Nick Buxton (drums)— make music that’s incomparable with anyone else either past or present. Sure, there are influences ranging from post-punk to psychedelic noise and everything in between, all held together by Shaw’s unmistakable, deadpan spoken delivery. Poetry in motion but of the sort that’s obtuse, disparate, insatiably engaging, and, at times, wildly amusing.

The album itself came together in between lockdowns over two weeks last summer. Produced by John Parish at the legendary Rockfield Studios just outside of Monmouth in the Welsh countryside, New Long Leg continues unabated from where the first two EPs left off. Nothing is repeated or regurgitated. Each piece represents 10 new entries in Dry Cleaning’s circumstantial diary. From the laconic “Scratchcard Lanyard” and its cutting observations (“Do everything and feel nothing”) via the noise-laden art rock of “Unsmart Lady” that recalls Dirk Wears White Sox-era Adam and the Ants. Through to the charming funk driven “Strong Feelings” (“Just an emo dead stuff collector”) and the excitable title track (“Are there some kind of reverse platform shoes that make you go into the ground more and make you reach a lower level?”), before the epic “Every Day Carry” complete with Pink Floyd-esque wig out at its midpoint brings the album to an end.

New Long Leg delivers on every level, from Shaw’s lyrical attention to detail to the impeccable musicianship that surrounds her. Fulfilling all the promise shown by those early releases not to mention 4AD’s faith in signing them up, Dry Cleaning are the real deal. Potential realized in abundance. (www.drycleaning.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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