Dream Nails – ‘Dream Nails’

By Eloise Bulmer

Dream Nails are one of the most important bands in the current punk scene. Their shows are an act of rebellion in a world traditionally dominated by men, and their cries of “women and non-binary people to the front” are as important to the band as their songs. With a running time of under 25 minutes, the band’s debut full-length is short but not so sweet. Swapping out the saccharine for a taste of the harsh truth of living under systems that help the few and not the many, the album plays like a hang-out session and protest all in one.

It would be disingenuous to claim this is the nicest sounding album – it’s scrappy, capitalising on the band’s live sound, and largely focusing on issues that could wear anyone out. This goes a long way to making it feel like you’re at one of their shows, especially with the addition of short, scattered interludes. Two tracks in we get the ditty: “Do you want to go to work? No! Are you going to go to work? Yes!” Followed by ‘Corporate Realness’: “You are not your job / work is not your life / you are not what you must do in order to survive”. It’s tongue-in-cheek enough to gently poke fun at the reality that yes, most of us have to go and work a job we do not like, whilst still acknowledging how hard it is – it’s reassuring, funny, and elevates the conversation around these topics without making it exhausting.

The genius of this album, then, is how it frankly speaks on difficult and complicated topics where women and non-binary voices are routinely ignored, whilst still ensuring it’s a fun and reaffirming listen for those people the band are elevating the voices of.

“This song is called Vagina Police but we want to make it clear that we stand in solidarity with all our trans siblings,” states vocalist Janey before a song about bodily-autonomy that’s sure to conjure up mosh-pits when played live, with its raucous chorus and lyrical motifs made for chanting. The band sound their best when they lean into heavier guitar sounds, most notably on ‘Payback’ and ‘Kiss My Fist’, the former sounding like an Avril Lavigne deep-cut, again with a chorus clearly constructed to resonate at a live show and a bridge that sees the band chanting “hey! Mister! Get your hands off my sister!”

Dream Nails couldn’t have been more clear in what they stand for on their debut record – great songs, thoughtful lyrics, a fun live show, and most of all: “misogynists? Yuck.”

ELOISE BULMER

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