Friday, June 23, 2023

Dream Wife return with the empowering punk rock album we all needed, ‘Social Lubrication’

How can an album be playful and unique whilst covering subjects such as misogyny and politics, all on top of a punk rock soundtrack? Well, Dream Wife have found the answer with new album ‘Social Lubrication’.

‘Social Lubrication’ covers a wide range of topics relating to gender and sexuality, with the whole album being very reminiscent of the Riot Grrrl movement. The album sees the band move into a heavier musical direction, with many of the tracks displaying more of a punk rock influence than the indie rock feel of 2020’s ‘So When You Gonna…’ and 2018’s 'Dream Wife'.

This venture into punk rock helps display the sheer talent and musical knowledge of guitarist Alice Go and bassist Bella Podpadec. However, they never stray too far from their original sound with ‘Orbit’ and ‘Mascara’ forming the perfect bridge between their old and new sound.

Opener ‘Kick In The Teeth’ is a playful song, built on a heavy and repetitive guitar riff which imaginably would be best listened to live from the middle of a mosh pit. ‘Kick In The Teeth’ is the perfect introduction to the album as it perfectly sets up what’s to come.

The songs that follow on the album fully encapsulate the realities of living in the UK right now. ‘Who Do You Wanna Be?’ delves into the political state of the country: “The left cuts down the left / While the right upholds the crown”. These lyrics are complemented by Dream Wife’s signature catchy guitar riffs, which follows into the next track on the album ‘Hot (Don’t Date A Musician)’. The track provides a humorous look at dating and sexuality in the modern day, summed up perfectly by the lyrics “Don’t date a musician / Then why are they everywhere?”.

‘Leech’ was the first single from the album, released early last year and arguably the most important song on the whole album. The track takes a look at the way misogyny is upheld in everyday life which in turn highlights the importance of Feminism and feels more personal than the other songs on the album. 

Lyrics such as “Do you use and abuse your power to the young women / That listen to what you say?” are sung in a monotone voice, creating an eerie feel to the song. This feeling explodes in the chorus, where it feels as if lead singer Rakel Mjöll is screaming her frustrations accompanied by a dark and heavy bass and guitar riff. Mjöll stated, “There’s a lot of anger in that song, but it also champions the idea of being empathetic towards each other and yourself”.

The title track‘Social Lubrication’ mirrors ‘Leech’, also featuring lyrics that speak on the misogyny experienced by women everywhere. Again, this adds to the personal feel of the album but also emphasises how important the messages on this album are.

The album in its entirety does not feature one weak song. Every track is just as important as the last, with the lyrics and the music perfectly complementing each other - which even upon the first listen is extremely captivating. ‘Social Lubrication’ is a truly influential album which fully deserves all the praise it has been receiving. 

Jodie Marshall

Instagram: @jodiemarshall_

Image: 'Social Lubrication' official album cover


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