Column: Dry Cleaning puts out great new album

Ryan Meyer

A band that I’ve had in the back of my head for a while now recently released their first album. Dry Cleaning, a London indie rock band, came out with their debut record, “New Long Leg,” on April 2nd and it doesn’t disappoint. It was yet another addition to an already great year from music.

Sometimes I like a band solely for their name, and my affection for Dry Cleaning may have started that way. It’s almost impossible to describe, but the way the words look almost match the angular sound of the guitars or the spoken word lyrics of frontwoman Florence Shaw.

Although I may have initially been drawn in by the name, I stuck around for the guitar playing. Abrasive yet pretty, post punk but with more badass grit. I’ll point to the riffs in the song “Viking Hair” from the band’s 2019 EP “Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks” for an example. The guitarist, Tom Dowse, may have the best tone in modern music. It is the perfect combination of distortion or overdrive with whatever reverb or delay or chorus he might be using.

Another great example of Dowse’s tone is in the simple chord progression in the song “More Big Birds” from the new record, which by some coincidence happens to be my favorite song on the album. The chords have the perfect amount of bite, but not too much that the beautiful piano or Shaw’s hummed melody feel out of place. I don’t know who’s playing the piano, but they did a fine job with it.

Dry Cleaning seems to be mixed in with bands like Protomartyr and other post punk torch-bearers, but moments of serenity in songs like “More Big Birds” set them apart. Not to mention a great guitar solo in the lead single “Scratchcard Lanyard.”

The band’s rhythm section isn’t to be slept on, either. “Goodnight,” from the 2019 “Sweet Princess EP” is a rollicking track where each member shines, and the bass and drums propel the song from a great guitar song to a great song. As the first song on the band’s first release, this one would make a great introduction.

I think my introductions to the band were the songs “Spoils” and “Magic of Meghan,” and they left a lasting impression on me. I listened to the songs occasionally until “New Long Leg” came out, and now I have slowly been getting more and more into the band’s catalogue.

I’d recommend any music fans do the same.

 

Ryan Meyer is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]