Label: Lucky Number
Released: 9th June 2023
For a band that thrive on the thrill of a live show and the sort of emotional connection that only comes face-to-face, releasing their second album into the perfect storm of a time where neither was possible was a moment of heartbreak for Dream Wife. So it’s maybe no surprise in some ways to see ‘Social Lubrication’, their gripping third record, hit the reset button and aim to capture that live power and connection like never before. And oh, how they’ve delivered on that.
Opener ‘Kick In The Teeth’ is the perfect entrance, attitude dripping from Rakel’s vocals, and it instantly feels as in-your-face as is humanly possible. Solely produced in-house by Alice, this is an unfiltered and undiluted version of Dream Wife and is all the better for it. The record rips along at a ridiculous rate in its first half in particular, the tongue-in-cheek fun of ‘Hot (Don’t Date A Musician)’ sitting deliciously alongside the title track, where years of casual sexism and gender-influenced disses is turned into some sonic truth bombs. It is the sound of a generation’s patience running out to a soundtrack for the ages. Time’s Up indeed, so you better shape up or move along.
‘Social Lubrication’ is just as good when it slows down and takes its time, the beautifully romantic sense of how the little things are often the ones worth clinging on to of ‘Mascara’ in particular acting as the beating heart amidst the chaos. Lust is everywhere, from the thrashy ‘I Want You’ to the all-embracing ‘Curious’, a track that champions the diversity that runs through the very heart of what Dream Wife stand for. It all makes for an album that finally matches up to the reputation and explosive sound of one of the finest live bands of this generation.