Release Date: Jan 26, 2018
Record label: Lucky Number
God damn have we been waiting a long time for a band like Dream Wife. They’ve got the art school cred – they all met while studying down in Brighton but are now based in London – they’ve got the slamming tunes and they’ve got the kind of attitude that, were you able to bottle it and sell it to shy and retiring 14-year-olds, you’d make millions. ‘Cool’ is a word that’s chucked about far too lightly these days, but cool is what Dream Wife are.
It’s a fact that Dream Wife are at their best making an unholy racket, at the point a raging Rakel Mjöll’s lungs are operating at capacity over a spidery riff from resident axe-wielder Alice Go. ‘Dream Wife’, the band’s debut full-length that it feels like we’ve been waiting a lifetime for, is bookended by two perfect instances of this: ‘Let’s Make Out’, in which Rakel screams the title over and over until it sounds like more threat than promise, and ‘FUU’, still the finest track the trio - completed by bassist Bella Popadec - have recorded yet, here an even more beefed-up beast than before. Breakthrough number ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ is another souped-up monster, the twisted cheerleader chant of its chorus as infectious as ever, while live standout ‘Act My Age’ turns on a sixpence, its refusal to conform reflected in its sonic intensity.
Dream Wife say that they see themselves as 50% Spice Girls and 50% Sleater-Kinney. Based on this effervescent debut album, they have found the perfect genesis of the two sides of their psyche. However, in place of the stage-managed, corporately calculated .
Infusing the angular sounds of the early aughts with a healthy dose of riot grrrl power, indie rock outfit Dream Wife delivered a fierce debut packed with jagged guitar riffs, sneering kiss-offs, and irresistible charm. On Dream Wife, the trio of Rakel Mjoll, Alice Go, and Bella Podpadec channel their predecessors with precision and ease, distilling the grit and groove of early Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sahara Hotnights, and the Sounds, while paying their respects to forebears like Sleater-Kinney and Kathleen Hanna's Bikini Kill, and Le Tigre. Mjoll's vocals veer between fiery howl ("Let's Make Out") and detached coo ("Love Without Reason"), sometimes within the same song ("Taste").
Imagine, if you will, that The Powerpuff Girls - after spending their teenage years devouring everything from Bikini Kill, The Bangles and The Sugarcubes to Madonna, Bowie, Blondie and The Spice Girls - ended up at art school in Brighton. That goes some way towards explaining the Dream Wife phenomenon: three astrological fire signs who came together as a result of a performance art project. Following the assertive and rowdy opener to their self-titled debut that is .
Guitar, bass, a standard drum kit and some self-assertive vocals. It takes a lot to be successful with solely this set-up in 2018, but Dream Wife are evidence that you don’t need to follow the fad of big production to make a lasting impression. Rock’n’roll can live on without a synth progression, and you don’t need slick pop beats to drop a track that bangs louder than your new neighbours. Applauded for their thrilling live shows, Dream Wife’s reckless stamina sustains onto their debut record, combining both the blistering energy of ‘90s alt-rock and the lustrous pop hooks of the ‘70s with a millennial twist. The self-titled LP is an eleven-track gang of anthemic punk tunes.