Dressmaker – Glass (Self-Released)
Hackney’s Dressmaker release their debut EP entitled Glass. Louder Than War’s Lisa Sookraj reviews.
Dressmaker are a gothy/post-punk/noise band that at times sound like a tribute to Joy Division meets A Place to Bury Strangers. Their sound is comprised of distorted vocals, rough, dark guitar work and essences of new wave artists Echo and the Bunnymen and Sisters of Mercy.
“We Breathe” and “The Future” are the strongest songs on the EP. In “We Breathe” the haunting, echoed Ian-Curtis-esque vocals utter the strained statement “And it only gets worst”. While a broad statement, it works coming from a band with a cynical attitude about existence in general. The magnitude of the simplicity of this line, however, is a rarity on the release. Perhaps the main issue on Glass is the weak or somewhat exagerrated lyrical/vocal choices at times. For example what sounds like a reference to “orgasms of artistic destruction” or in “Skeleton Girl,” “She sings like angel, slithers like a snake. I’d feed her that apple, but I fear that she might break.” It’s hard to tell if the band is being serious, or poking a bit of fun at gothic tropes.
“The Future” starts with a bit of schtick – a playful almost Iggy Pop or Bowie quality – but the track evolves into something far thrashier, with jangly guitars and a strong, unexpected change of pace at the bridge. The screaming grows a bit melodramatic, though it would seem this is the point to tie into the rantings-of-a-madman quality of the track, which eventually spins out of control, drums clashing with guitars in a struggle to keep time. This climax sounds like it could be a bit tighter (as does the outtro on “We Breathe”) which may be jarring to some listeners, though this roughness may be intentional.
While perhaps not entirely original, it is clear what Dressmaker are going for. Though they may verge on overdoing it at times, certain niche fans of the genre are unlikely to take issue, especially based on the band’s ability to deliver noise. Of all the live shows I went to while visiting London back in February, Dressmaker/Terminal Gods drew the most interesting of crowds (low-key, cool, older goths) and despite being the opening act, Dressmaker left a more memorable impression on me than the headliner and were the best band I saw live at Camden Barfly while in town.
All words by Lisa Sookraj. You can read more from Lisa by checking out her LTW Author’s Archive.