For a while now we’ve been enamored with the post punk created by London’s Dry Cleaning. Mixing crazed tones against post punk structure and deadpan vocals, the band has been on our radar for quite a good while. After two EP’s last year, the band has found a way to top themselves with their debut full length New Long Leg. Defining their sound with an approach that no one else employs, the band gives you a new way to experience music without losing you in the process.
The album opens with the upbeat and dissonant single “Scratchcard Lanyard.” The band exhibits an ability to deliver melody within a model that exudes the music and the vocals almost in a separate manner. The way the words com across as a bit removed from the music here is magnificent. This distanced tone flows throughout the album, signalling that the band has their own way of delivering their music. The chaotic elements of “Unsmart Lady” offer up plenty of squeals and atonal notes while the vocals are almost disassociated with the music. However they are in line while giving you a new delivery system for hearing a song. This occurs on “Strong Feelings” as well, though the two elements are more in sync here. The band has a way with words whether comical or just dry, they hit and stay in your ears.
The band changes things up a bit on “Leafy” with a swirling guitar that rolls underneath the vocals and a bass line that keeps the pace in check. Opting in steering from being a slow song, the track has plenty of moving parts in its presentation that make it so much more. The title track “New Long Leg” has this almost new wave touch to it while “More Big Birds” takes the vocals and uses them as a jumping spot for the song. There’s very little Dry Cleaning can do from sounding different because their approach is so different. Yet it’s engaging and forces your attention to dart between the music and the words. While we loved the dark tonal qualities that begin “Every Day Carry,” we found ourselves most enamored with the song “John Wick.” The old school post punk guitar that begins the song has vocals that hold a conversational feel to them. The dissonant sound of the song with reeling guitars and a chord structure that throws you for a loop proves what is best about the album, it sounds like no one else.
New Long Leg is available for purchase directly from 4AD Records on various formats. It’s also available in all digital outlets or it can be streamed on all streaming sites. Dry Cleaning is scheduled to appear live at End of the Road Festival on September 02-05 in Sixpenny Handley, UK and at Iceland Airwaves November 03-06 in Reykjeavik, Iceland. Their tour dates for 2022 can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz.