Dare To Care by Dream NailsRelease date: October 27, 2017
Evoking the energy and empowerment of Bikini Kill, London punk band Dream Nails have released latest EP Dare To Care. One of the bands in the new wave of punk currently washing over the underground scene and overwhelmingly led by feminist artists, the four-track EP is full of solidarity and self-sovereingnty, anger and positive power, along with some solid garage pop hooks.
Opening with single ‘Tourist’, the track is all snarling vocal over a chunky rock riff and bouncing bass line softened by the hiss of percussion. Frontwoman Janey Starling explains the sentiment behind the song saying, “it’s about men who present themselves as a hero but all they really want to do is fetishise sad girls, make them emotionally attached and then abuse that power. We can smell those guys a mile away and they’re creepy”. It’s this to-the-point politically-charged passion which underpins all Dream Nails do – from the music to the activism and acts of radical self-care.
We’re left in no doubt of the purpose of ‘Joke Choke’ as over the clicking count-in of stick-on-stick we’re told “this is a song about people who think it’s funny to make jokes about rape…”. Over a racing guitar-line reminiscent of Upset and a pounding beat the lyrics are a squall of pure fury, unrefined and righteous rage. Just over a minute in length the track breaks down by the half-way mark to become a sludgy drag of slow-talking to those who fail to see women as people, who see this complex pain as a source of humour.
The second half of the EP focuses more on the self than the problems imposed by others. ‘Merkury’ gives a spoken-word introduction to the astrological phenomena of mercury retrograde, with a warm harmonised chorus asking for mercy during these times of chaos. With a touch of drone to the melody and a more finessed production this track is magnificent in its pop sensibilities and call for self-care to combat outside forces.
Final track ‘Lovefuck’ is an exuberant ode to letting go and moving on, bordering the platitudes acquaintances pass to the newly single when delivered here it’s a statement rather than advice in the chorus “you’ll love and fuck, and love again, I know you don’t believe me”. With a beat that sounds like it might runaway with the track at any time during the verses it becomes a relentless thrash of a track with a soaring sing-a-long tempo-shifted chorus.
This is beautifully melodic pop-punk forming a radical act in its existence before you even get to the protest and power detailed in each track. Refusing to be cowed by or turn away from the toxic masculinity and misogyny around in music, Dream Nails are uniting sound and protest as one – this band don’t just sing against the patriarchy but are activists too – with empowering and inspiring messages wrapped in glorious, gorgeous, pop-punk sounds.