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Stumpwork by Dry Cleaning

Dry Cleaning


Release Date: Oct 21, 2022

Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

Record label: 4AD


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Album Review: Stumpwork by Dry Cleaning

Fantastic, Based on 4 Critics

musicOMH.com - 100
Based on rating 5

The south Londoners’ wonderfully enigmatic follow-up to New Long Leg feels more collage than essay, the poetic cheek by jowl with the preposterous Mixing a Dry Cleaning gig must be a nightmare. The south London band creates such a dense sound, interlocking riffs twining thornily, that a declamatory vocal would be the instinctive choice, but Florence Shaw's delivery is always muted, pastel-toned, and dispassionate, as if a dentist surgery's automated receptionist had started offering existential commentary. Press 1 for appointments, press 2 for a wry encapsulation of the human condition.

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Under The Radar - 85
Based on rating 8.5/10

Like many young bands in 2022, Dry Cleaning have an origin story that's difficult to separate from the effects of the COVID pandemic and its associated quarantines. Last year's debut album, New Long Leg, was recorded quickly and disjointedly during lockdown. Now, after months of touring and some successful festival sets, they return with their excellent sophomore record, Stumpwork, which explores the effects of isolation, connection, and the lack of it, delivered as only vocalist Florence Shaw can.

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Dusted Magazine
Opinion: Excellent

Photo by Guy Bolongaro Stumpwork by Dry Cleaning The defining lyric of Dry Cleaning's excellent debut album, New Long Leg, was probably "Scratchcard Lanyard"'s "Do everything and feel nothing." Florence Shaw's words wandered far and wide, gathering up fragments into an intoxicating jumble, settling most often on the topic of food. On this second album, Stumpwork, the music roves more freely, while Shaw's words zero in on more prickly subjects such as politics, violence and COVID lockdowns. The defining lyric here probably comes from within the jaunty Smiths-esque jangle of "Kwenchy Kups": "Things are shit but it's gonna be OK." Bleak but hopeful sums up Dry Cleaning in 2022.

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Record Collector
Opinion: Excellent

From the moment RC saw the words 'Scratchcard Lanyard' in late 2020, it was obvious that it would fall deeply in love with Dry Cleaning. A two-word, high concept band with immense originality and intelligence? What, on earth, would there be not to like? The gaunt spikes of post-punk led by Tom Dowse's metallic guitar with Florence Shaw's monotone poetry chanted over the top was immediately appealing, hence the rapturous response to their debut album, New Long Leg, released last year. Stumpwork seems to have arrived with almost indecent haste. Second albums, as is well documented, are funny old things - do something different and get accused of golden goose slaying; repeat the formula and be blamed for playing safe.

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