This is really gonna knock you out.
While tired middle-aged blokes might like to think that anything made by four teenagers who look a bit like they used to look in 1997 and who sound a bit like all the bands they liked at the same point is “exciting” the truth is that it isn’t…it’s awful. Not necessarily the bands they fawn over themselves but this desperate re-treading and re-hashing of things that have been done over and over and over like a monkey with a miniature cymbal since 1964. To be blunt it’s boring.
The problem lies in the label of “guitar music” which those sorts of people seem to believe is the sole preserve of people with Paul Weller’s haircut and a bucket hat. It’s such a dead end label. It’s also a lie. These people don’t like “guitar music”. They like some “guitar music”. Specifically they like music made by people with guitars who sound like The Beatles, The Kinks or Oasis. That’s it. They don’t like music made by people with guitars who don’t sound like those things. Take That use guitars…they don’t like that. Shampoo used guitars…they don’t like that. Pet Shop Boys use guitars…they don’t like that. Harry Styles uses guitars…they don’t like that.
They also don’t like women who make music…unless they are making music with guitars that sounds like The Beatles, The Kinks or Oasis. Madonna…they don’t like that. Beyonce…they don’t like that. Billie Eilish…they don’t like that. But if those women had a bloke on drums, a bloke playing bass and a bloke playing guitar and she was warbling about having a cup of tea in an orchard? They would love that.
“I know what I like” they are already screeching in response to this. Which is fair. As fair as it is dishonest. You don’t know what you like. You know what you liked. And you have decided that that is enough. Why waste time listening to something else, something different, something new…something that isn’t made by somebody from Huddersfield in a polka dot shirt? No point. No point. Plus they don’t have time to listen to anything new or different because they have just noticed its that episode of “Only Fools and Horses” where Del falls through the bar and they can’t miss that. Funniest moment in television history. Sure it is.
For these people there is no point in new music unless it sounds exactly like the old music. For the rest of us, the people who still want music to thrill us, to challenge us, to confront us and, oh please, change us…there is hope. Hope arrives in the shape of Dream Wife.
Political and personal…often at exactly the same moment. Here are a band who understand that making statements is the easy part, it is doing something that is difficult. So when they talk about the importance of using their platform to lift up and support women it isn’t about saying the right thing…they mean it “man” and so for “So When You Gonna”…they used an all woman production team. Sounds simple right? It’s not…if it was then everyone who talks about these issues would make the same choice.
Lyrically they don’t shy away from, whisper it, “big issues”…abortion, gender equality and miscarriage are talked about frankly and openly. This is pop music as manifesto and manifestation of belief and principle. If music is to matter then it has to be willing to go further than the moribund reference points of most rock and roll.
It’s easy to rhyme moon with June but it takes guts to write the sorts of songs that Dream Wife have on this album. That they have been able to and then dress them up in the sort of melodious riot (grrrl) tunes that force you to dance with wild abandon is testament to the fact that we are dealing with a band worthy of your love and adoration…devotion?
This is pop and punk and politics and protest.
And it is perfect.
You can order “So When You Gonna…” now.