Dry Cleaning – ‘Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks’ EP review

Dry Cleaning Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks EP review Bandcamp

One of the most exciting new bands around, Dry Cleaning are following up this summer’s debut release ‘Sweet Princess’ with another six-track EP called ‘Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks’ on 25 October. Excitingly, both EPs will be compiled on to a 12″ vinyl!

Shoegazey guitars, stilted harmonies, a big bass sound and frenetic drums open ‘Dog Proposal’. This song finds spoken-word vocalist Florence Shaw rallying against the eternal lie that hard work reaps rewards and giving cutting observations on the way that many people’s work-life balance has been skewed: ‘I’ve just started working in London. I’ve joined a gym close to the office’. ‘Viking Hair’ follows with punky ’80s drums and noisy melodies as Florence lists the things that get left behind when someone dies, with a healthy dose of black humour: ‘Over the road there’s an abandoneed fridge. It still works’. She then goes on to talk about the subject with affection: ‘She was beautiful, she’s got Viking hair, she’s a tragic heroine. I’m in love’ before opening up about wanting to ‘sexually experiment with a safe pair of hands’.

‘Spoils’ has Florence laying bare her views on streaming while the guitar veers into the space mastered by the likes of Anna Calvi and P.J. Harvey: ‘I’m cool with spoils. Just tell me who dies, tell me who finds love, crushed by a crazy raisin’. Florence then goes on to evaluate the indelible imprint that computer game music can have on you – even if you don’t realise at the time – and the song, of course, finishes with a burst of one of them. ‘Jam After School’ opens with a statement we can all get behind before the music even starts: ‘Less bullshit, masculine, mountain-conquering crap’. Florence then has a two-way conversation with herself: ‘How did he get that scar? His brother cut him? No way’. The dry wit that serves the band so well is also live and present here: ‘Imaginary relationship with Daniel Day Lewis. Welcome to the county of Hampshire’.

‘Sombre One’ has potent guitar hooks in its opening 20 seconds as Florence talks about getting ready for the day ahead: ‘Everything is easy to get out and put back quickly’. It then evolves into something resembling an audiobook before making way for the EP closer (and recent single) ‘Sit Down Meal’. This song captures how it feels when a relationship has ended and how certain sensory things like smells can bring up all the memories – and remind you how quickly they can disappear: ‘You’re nothing but a fragrance to me now’.

On this EP, Dry Cleaning showcase a more expansive sound without losing any of the wondrous wit, cutting observations or powerful sensibilities that make them so special.


Catch Dry Cleaning on the following tour dates:

17.10 – Workman’s Club, Dublin

19.10 – Simple Things Festival, Bristol

20.10 – SWN Festival, Cardiff

23.10 – The Lexington, London

23.11 – Great Western Festival, Glasgow

24.11 – Picture House Social, Sheffield

Dry Cleaning the band are:

  • Lewis Maynard
  • Tom Dowse
  • Florence Shaw
  • Nick Buxton

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