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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Dry Cleaning December 12, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Post-punk. Spoken vocals. Like this group a lot, Dry Cleaning, South London based and offering spiky sound that is both perfectly of this moment and yet offers a link back to early to mid-1980s. Which raises the question just how long has post-punk being going on for? Forty odd years and counting and still no sign of that particular musical seam being exhausted – which brings us right back to Dry Cleaning.

Florence Shaw on vocals, Tom Dowe on guitars, Lewis Maynard on bass and Nick Buxton on drums. The vocals do offer melodies, here and there, but carefully parceled out in such a way as to emphasise the sheer dynamism of the songs. Of course there are appropriately staccato guitar lines but actual riffs slam through some of the tracks along with a range of sounds. Similarly with the drums which aren’t shy about being nice and loud in places and span the range of rock to dance and all points in between. And the post-punk basslines have a neat almost funk-like tinge to them that propels the songs along but then drop away to embrace a spacious spartan feel.

The Magic of Meghan takes a sardonic look at a recent addition to the British Royal Family, other songs are intriguing – the lyrical concerns sometimes seemingly stream of consciousness or taken from observation. This works curiously, phrases that have an everyday familiarity (at least familiar to pre-Covid life) jostling with innermost thoughts. Check out Scratchcard Lanyard – released this year on 4AD and with a truly inventive video – which has a strangely on the nose feel to it for the times we live in.

There’s an interesting pedigree for groups like this, stretching back in a way to Patti Smith, and encompassing Blue Airplanes and Sonic Youth and more recently (to an extent) Tom Vek. Though I guess if one was being really expansive throw the Fall in there too – and at times Swell Maps, and Gang of Four and… Which is to say there’s a range of reference points for those interested in where they might be coming from, but Dry Cleaning manage the neat trick of sounding just like themselves.

Anyhow, you’ll gather they’re good to great. And all this off the back of just two EPs and a single.


1. sonofstan - December 12, 2020

Good stuff.
Have you heard, Black Country, New Road? Same neck of the woods. Same Sprechegesang thing going on.


WorldbyStorm - December 12, 2020

I haven’t, cheers for the lead, I’ll make a point of listening to them now.


2. sonofstan - February 2, 2021

Some more post punk sprechegesang stuff..

Local like…

Liked by 1 person

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