Dream Nails are an all-queer political collective, a chaotic punk rock foursome whose mission statement is to wake society up to the ‘doom loop’, the endless cycle of inequality, misogyny, and toxic masculinity we’re trapped in.
Thumping lead single ‘Good Guy’ is a statement of intent, skewering the titular term with pointed lyrics and declaring ‘it’s not a bad apple, it’s the whole damn tree’. ‘Case Dismissed’ is charged with that same energy, the spitting vocals a brutal dressing down of the police, draped in grinding bass and rasping guitars. ‘Geraniums’ doesn’t let up either, shoving you over with a down-and-dirty guitar lick before the vocal melodies take over on lines like ‘before I heard of Patti Smith before I saw the world, I spent a lot of time wishing I WAS NOT BORN A GIRL’.
‘Prevenge’ is a blend of modern punk production and rap vocals, channelling the likes of Nova Twins while reminding us to re-watch Alice Lowe’s excellent horror/comedy film namesake.
But Dream Nails don’t always keep their foot to the floor, and while ‘Monster’ opens with a crunching Idles-esque low end, there’s also a danceable twist and, occasionally, some melodious whimsy to the vocals. ‘Sometimes I Do Get Lonely, Yeah’ goes even further, picking a more laidback stride but maintaining a wildly satisfying intensity and complexity.
The second half of the album has no shortage of bangers either, ‘She’s Cutting My Hair’, ‘Femme Boy’, and ‘Ballpit’ in particular, but the closing song, ‘Time Ain’t No Healer’, takes a different tack entirely. It’s a tender, stripped-back affair and an unexpected end to such a rollicking album – but the lyrics remain powerful and meaningful. The subtle build in the closing moments leads right back into ‘Good Guys’, thus continuing the Doom Loop. If you’re a punk fan, you need this album.