(Photo Credit - Steve Gullick)
Advance Review - Dry Cleaning: New Long Leg (April 2, 2021)
Lately, I have been listening to a lot of Chillwave, Lofi, and Day Disco. So, when I saw that Alt Revue got an upcoming Post-Punk album to review, I jumped at the opportunity to check it out.
When I listen to something described as Post-Punk, I look for the raw energy and unleashed angst of the seventies delivered in a cleaner, clever, and more polished form. However, because of its revival in the late ‘90s and 2000s, the genre broadened its branches, transforming it from a thin and self-confined Tsukasa Silhouette Japanese Maple style into a reaching Weeping Japanese Maple genre that covered a variety of bands and sounds. Therefore, I am open to whatever the band brings as long as it meets the essential criteria. Yet, the second coming of retro revival acts is taking music genres back to their roots. Dry Cleaning is one of these bands.
Their upcoming album New Long Leg sounds extremely clean and intentional. The bass, the guitar, and the percussion are where I expect them to be. Florence Shaw’s dry, androgynous-sounding lyrics give it an edge. The first three songs, “Scratchcard Lanyard,” “Unsmart Lady,” and “Strong Feelings,” have the most intensity. The rest of the album slows and brings quiet angst by focusing on Shaw’s vocals. “An exhausting walk in the horrible countryside/A tiresome swim in a pointless bit of sea.”
Although I focused primarily on the Post-Punk sound, other elements make the album interesting. “Unsmart Lady” starts with an intro reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, transitions to a slowed ‘80s Def Leppard standard, and then becomes macabre metal. “Her Hippo,” “New Long Leg,” and “John Wick” linger in 80’s rock. Not the hair bands, but a mixture of Punk, Metal, and Prog. “More Big Birds” stretches the boundaries of the album.
“Every Day Carry” is my favorite from the album, and at 7:39, it is the longest song. With a Prog build, the 3:10 mark becomes the most exciting moment on the album. At 5:45, they circle back around with the intensity they begin with.
Final Thought: Dry Cleaning is another band I want to perform at The Union in Athens.
Favorite Songs: “Unsmart Lady,” “Strong Feelings,” and “Every Day Care”
Rating - 3.5/5 (because they hinted at the possibilities in the last song but did not bring it anywhere else.)