The Party Dress played their first show for the last Stylus release back in October with a set full of thick, turned-up, and jagged rock ‘n’ roll. Now, thanks to new local label Bonzer Records, they’ve got a freshly-pressed 7” single, and it spares none of the kick-assery that their debut live show (and hopefully, all the ones to come) pulled off so easily. The true single and start to side A, “You’re Dead,” is immediately dangerous-sounding, with sharp and swampy guitar thrash backing up front man Reuben Todd’s otherworldly, mutant howl: “the devil called me on the telephone/he said ‘son I’ll make this place your home.’” It sounds like a showdown between man and Lucifer inside a voodoo cemetery set on fire. “Too Cool to Have Fun” is slightly more reserved, but it’s safe to say nothing The Party Dress does is ever really reserved. It’s old-school simple, with fuzzy guitar holding ground to a driving, grungy bass line, with breaks in between verses that sound almost like early, extra-angry Nirvana.
The B-side, “Grave Clothes,” is like the soundtrack to a tense and long, slow-moving shot running through a saloon somewhere on the outskirts of Hell, filled with unsavoury characters looking for an excuse to shoot one another. Then the break comes in, the lights go out, and everything turns into a sexy, sweaty, hallucinatory dance party. By the time the vicious, climax guitar solo ends, everyone drops to the floor, too tired to go on. It’s rare that a band with such a badass live show can harness that on tape (especially a debut), but the DIY production and ‘who-gives-a-fuck?’ attitude make this 7” a relentlessly fun rock ‘n’ roll gem. (Bonzer Records, thepartydress.tk) Matt Williams