Review: ‘New Long Leg’ is as unconventional as it gets

"Dry Cleaning" is an English post-punk band, formed in South London in 2018. (Courtesy of The Telegraph)"Dry Cleaning" is an English post-punk band, formed in South London in 2018. (Courtesy of The Telegraph)

Jada Hester, Correspondent

No one ever said post-punk is dead, which is why Dry Cleaning’s newest album, “New Long Leg,” was just released on Friday.

This English band comprises vocalist Florence Shaw, guitarist Tom Dowse, bassist Lewis Maynard and drummer Nick Buxton. In comparison to other artists today, Dry Cleaning brings a fresh sound to the music industry. The question is, is it a good sound? 

The first thing you’ll want to know is that Florence Shaw does not sing – she speaks and nothing more. 

Her voice is mainly very monotone throughout the entire album, which on one hand creates a tranquil and dreamy effect, but on the other hand, it distances you from the lyrics. The lyrics, however, are nonsensical to start with. 

The lyrics are, to be honest, utterly baffling for much of the album. For example, in “Scratchcard Lanyard,” the first song on the album, Shaw says, “And thanks very much for the Twix / I think of myself as a hardy banana with that waxy surface and the small delicate flowers / A woman in aviators firing a bazooka.” 

These lyrics in particular have nothing to do with the song, and moreover, it isn’t clearly stated what the song is actually about. 

Maybe it’s about seeing someone you used to love after a long time based on the lyrics, “You seem really together, you’ve got a new coat, new hair / Well, I’ll tell you one thing, you’ve got it coming / One day you’re gonna get it.” Who really knows?

The only song that sort of makes sense is “More Big Birds,” in which Shaw compares her brain to a clean, well-controlled kitchen. 

“Trapped inside a head / In control in the kitchen area / I run a tight ship / Spatula pot and crumb tray / A wipeable place.” 

In other tracks, you might hear about a hippo, £17 mushrooms, mayonnaise, rolling peas, doing laundry on a ship and a guy on a ski holiday. And no, none of any of that really makes sense, either.

The best thing about Dry Cleaning, however, is their sound. 

Unshakeable drums, powerful bass – this band’s music is absolutely stunning. New Long Leg’s lyrics were just, quite frankly, a bit too strange. If the point was to be so unconventional that they stood out no matter what, then they certainly got the job done.

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