Music Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW: Dream Nails – Dream Nails

Photo Credit: Marieke Macklon

“I FEAR NOTHING AND NO ONE EXCEPT THE TEMPTATION TO HOLD BACK.” What would you do if these words rang true in your head every morning? Dream Nails might just have the answer with their self-titled debut full-length release.

Dream Nails have produced one of the most fun and colourful punk albums this year, which nevertheless refuses to compromise on any of their political messages or determined stance against heteronormative patriarchal ideals. There is energy and enthusiasm exuding from every syllable, every scream, every solo. Even in its moments of rage, this album will remind all listeners that punk should always be about having fun and doing whatever you want, whilst sticking it to the man at every moment possible.

Punctuated by skits and interludes which highlight the manifestos of this band – self love, down with capitalism, and women and non-binary people to the front – this album sounds rough and raw in the best way possible, saccharine sweet vocals from Janey Starling spitting out witty double entrendres and political statements alike. Highlights include the rally cries of Corporate Realness (“you are not a job/work is not your life!”) and DIY, an ode to empowerment at the expense of capitalism. Lightning speed, blink and you’ll miss ‘em lyrics are paired with joyous instrumentation and uplifting energy. The song ends with a cry of “you are good enough, you are strong enough, you are smart enough,” and we defy any listeners not to smile.

Payback is another album standout, featuring throat-ripping screams, and then followed immediately in a double sucker-punch move by Kiss My Fist, inspired by the incident on a bus in Camden where a lesbian couple were beaten up for refusing to kiss in front of a group of men. This is clearly the most personal and upsetting track for this band of wonderfully queer ladies, and their sadness and determination can be heard behind the anger in this track. This band isn’t just here to make noise and then leave – their messages and statements are in it for the long haul.

Dream Nails could suffer from a drop in energy when we reach the stretch of the album with the less-politically inclined and less humorous tracks, like Swimming Pool and People Are Like Cities, but no. Each song on the tracklist is attacked with such a ferocious attitude and unapologetic confidence that you immediately want to get up and start dancing (and/or rioting).

Dream Nails have produced an album which harkens back to the heyday of the Riot Grrrl movement, with all the rough and ready aspects one might expect from that scene. However, the energy and fun and rage interjected at every single moment updates the sound to be utterly fresh, making this one of the most exciting punk records of the year. Unapologetically queer, often funny as hell and more outspoken than anything else on the scene right now, Dream Nails’ debut is a truly promising start.


Standout Tracks: Payback, DIY, Corporate Realness

For Fans Of: Bikini Kill, The Ramones, Petrol Girls, Nova Twins

Written by: Rosie Esther Solomon

Rosie Solomon
Rosie is a music PR/journalist by day, queer pole-dancing feminist vigilante by night. In her spare time you can find her reading, writing, dancing, and arguing with misogynists on the internet (@thebechdelbitch on twitter, @thebechdelbitch or @dlgrl2021 on insta)