As some of the more astute of you may have realised, Dressmaker are already staunch allies of the Heavy Leather organisation. They formed little over a year ago doing yer basic East London post-punk revival come noise rock thing, or so it seemed initially. Although that is, basically, what they are doing – it quickly became apparent that there was something a little different. An authenticity that didn’t come from straight faces and contrived, media savvy faking, it came from a joyous irony and budding sense of glamour. They were doing something cool, sure, but they seemed to find that fact almost embarrassing.
Their early gigs had a sense of car crash cinema about them – they were trying to hold together a very carefully crafted sound palette but at the same time convey a feeling of chaos and abandon in the performance. The results were mixed, but the band’s attitude remains humble yet impassioned – with a deep loyalty to their own ideas of authenticity.
The Glass EP, scheduled to be their first physical release (out on 12″ this July), more or less accurately reflects the bands insemination and early growth. There are times when the song writing an production pull together into some exceptionally forceful moments. The interaction between the mechanized drum loops and amphetamine bass playing (yes, that is an adjective now) on the title track races along at high speed, dropping in and out like lightening just as the vocals cut in – a trick they use to great effect on Skeleton Girl as well.
The Future steps away from the cold, speedfreak beat of Glass and into choppier waters. This one feels less like it was produced by Oli Ackerman circa 2003 and more like Steve Albini circa 1993. Again, with a strong hook locking down the chaotic performance. We Breathe sounds great, but falls into a halfway zone between the posts set out by the first two tracks. Highly enjoyable as part of the EP, but not necessarily bringing much new to the table.
Closing on Skeleton Girl, the well received debut digital single released earlier this year, would seem like a natural choice. Actually it doesn’t work as well as you’d hope. Skeleton Girl is drawn out, expansive funereal disco which, when they first unleashed it, was provocative and exciting. Hearing it here, rerecorded and rereleased it kinda feels like they’ve told the same joke twice. It’s still good, but it doesn’t carry the impact. After finishing the EP I put it back on straight away, but that’s mostly because I want to hear Glass and The Future again as a reward for working my way through the B side.
Like the dressmaker live show, The Glass EP flails and thrashes around, throwing punches at random – some hitting home hard and some missing the mark entirely. That’s cool though, if it was too streamlined and perfect it’d be just like all those other boring-ass post-punk/psych revival bands. Contrived and unremarkable. Instead we have a band full of youth and passion, what they lack in perfection they make up for by being believable and exciting. The Glass EP is enjoyable, charming and leaves the listener with a sense of anticipation for what Dressmaker might do next.
Dressmaker are on tour with Terminal Gods across the UK this July:
16/07 – 13th Note GLASGOW
17/07 – Bannerman’s Cowgate EDINBURGH
18/07 – Wharf Chambers LEEDS
19/07 – The Giffard Arms WOLVERHAMPTON
25/07 – Buffalo Bar LONDON