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August 2020
Album review

Dream Wife - So When You Gonna...

Dream Wife are not in the mood to be holding anything back.
Label: Lucky Number
Released: 3rd July 2020
Rating: ★★★★
Dream Wife - So When You Gonna...
Published: 4:50 pm, July 29, 2020Words: Jamie MacMillan.

With an album title that is equal parts command, question and a call to arms, and an opening that warns "fuck sorry, fuck please", Dream Wife are not in the mood to be holding anything back. A record of bittersweet endings, hopeful beginnings and real heartbreak, it is as messy and as full of ups and downs as real life. They may sing about the rules in early single 'Sports!' but as they bounce between style and genre from one moment to the next, this is one band who refuses to play by them.

At times much gentler in tone here than on their debut, 'So When You Gonna…' deals more in nuance than what their previous pure ferocity and fire. Softer moments like 'Hasta La Vista' and 'U Do U' are given room to breathe, while 'Validation' tweaks Rakel Mjöll's distinctive vocals into something approaching Sinead O'Brien's punk poetry. These stylistic diversions mean that when the full storm is unleashed, then it is almost cataclysmic. Mjöll's scream explodes from 'Homesick', while Alice Go's guitar work on the thrashy punk title track is some of her best yet. The promise of ruinous mosh scenes when live shows return hangs tantalisingly over these moments.

Packing the biggest punch though, and just as devastating in its own right, the best is saved for last on the breathtaking 'After The Rain'. As emotionally raw and searingly honest as it gets in its message of a woman's right to choose, the meditative and calming rainfall at its conclusion is a necessary and restorative balm for the soul.

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