Dream Wife – s/t LP, out now
Review by Zoe Biggs
Upon discovering that their genesis lay in a performance art project whilst still at university, I started to hunt for more information on the Icelandic-British garage rock outfit Dream Wife. The truth (they take their name from a 1950’s film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr) and the falsehoods (that they entered their Spinal Tap mockumentary into a film contest and their prize for winning was to go to Canada and play Canadian music with the band with a film) both delighted in equal measure.
Hot off their sell out gig at Heaven, Dream Wife have announced a Halloween show at the legendary Koko, so now seems a fitting time to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard if you prefer) about their self-titled debut album. Kicking off the proceedings is the explosive ‘Let’s Make Out’, channelling a Babes In Toyland vibe, and with an infectious bassline from Bella Podpadec holding it all together, this sets the album up nicely. It would surely be an error to throw comparisons out there solely to the other riot grrrl acts who have come before them. Influences that really come through on this album range from Peaches, to Yeah Yeah Yeahs to The Strokes.
‘You were a cute girl standing backstage, it was bound to happen’ singer Rakel Mjöll states simply as the opening line of ‘Somebody’, a phrase that makes me shudder, but also stokes my anger that someone had the audacity to utter that drivel to her. As if simply existing is a justifiable provocation for some. The chorus chant of ‘I am not my body, I am somebody’ is perfectly straight to the point – can we make it any clearer for those who are still refusing to pay attention? ‘Somebody’ gives the album a bit more depth that it may otherwise be lacking in.
Fuzzed out riffs from guitarist Alice Go propel us through the catchy and handclap-laden homage to Le Tigre that is ‘Hey Heartbreaker’; an instantly loveable vibrant and colourful track.
‘Love Without Reason’ is one of my favourites on this album, a blissful and haunting refrain with a sweet innocence about it that you can just picture being sung back to the band by the crowd during a bittersweet moment at a summer festival.
Honourable mention to the closing track ‘F.U.U.’ a collaboration with Fever Dream, starting off as brash and as raw as you want, but then swaggering into a finishing breakdown of ‘I spy with my little eye, bad bad bad bad bitches’, which, if you weren’t singing along with this album already, then this is going to hook itself into the dark recesses of your mind and appear screaming out at inopportune moments.
Overall a really fun and energetic offering from Dream Wife, and I’m eager to see what they will come up with next.