Album #241: Dream Nails – Dream Nails

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: London, England
  • Label: Alcopop!
  • Best Track: Kiss My Fist

I’m a bit slow of the mark on this debut from much hyped riot grrrl band Dream Nails. Released two weeks ago, it’s a fiery 25 minutes of feminism, gay rights and DIY ethos.

In parts, I think it’s brilliant. The angriest songs are the best, with ‘Vagina Police 2.0’ a furious and justified “fuck off”. ‘Kiss My Fist’ is even better, preceded with a news report of the appalling story last year of a lesbian couple being assaulted by a group of boys after they refused to kiss each other. The line “you fear us more than we fear you” is undoubtedly true about many pig-headed, homophobic blokes.

I’ve been a little slow to give my thoughts on this album though, because I’ve changed my mind about it a few times. Initially, I thought it seemed a strange juxtaposition of the serious and political, with the fun and throwaway. It reminded me a bit of Comic Relief or the terrible old BBC programme That’s Life!, where comedy and tragedy were often clumsily cobbled together.

I’ve realised now that even the more celebratory and hedonistic pop songs like ‘Swimming Pool’ and ‘This Is the Summer’ have political undertones. Basically, it comes down to me just not being as keen on those songs and for me, they dilute the venom and message of the album a little. In particular, I can’t listen to ‘Text Me Back’ – it’s just too millennial! I worry that without careful listening, tracks like this make Dream Nails come across as pampered whiners, when actually what they have to say on many of the edgier songs is articulate, challenging and poignant.

Others might say the album ticks every box, and ask why shouldn’t they have fun while putting a serious message out? Myself, I’d like to hear them get a bit grittier. I suspect they will get better.

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