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. And even when less visceral in sound, Dream Wife’s angry calling card is still there, the evocative ‘Somebody’ touching on rape culture and the ‘she was asking for it’ trope.
Whether figuratively (say, the disjointed delivery and post-punk rhythms of The Slits and the fearlessness of Kathleen Hanna) or literally (that Spice Girls riff in ‘F.U.U’), Dream Wife have taken all they’ve absorbed from decades of iconic women and created, well, a dream of a record. Occasionally in life we get the bands we want: sometimes - like in the case of Dream Wife - they’re also the bands we need.
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