An incisive album, combining punk-rock aesthetics and shoegazing qualities, assembles for a charming result from Dolores Haze new offering titled The Haze Is Forever. Going by sobriquets of Groovy Nickz (vocals, bass), Groovy F**k (rhythm guitar), Lucky Lollo (lead guitar) and Foxy Sagz (drums), the all-girl group from Stockholm, Sweden released their first EP Accidental eight months ago, and now they have released their ephemeral debut album clocking in at twenty one minutes that abandons you suddenly, but leaves you with an impression that remains well after the finishing time.
Riot grrrl ethos are ubiquitous on this album, but is predominant on “Reaching Placebo”, which begins with a punchy bassline and tight rhythm section with Nickz yelling vocal delivery arriving at the chorus, and with lyrics about escapism, it makes you realise you have no time to ease yourself into the album. The punk energy and rawness of garage rock continue onto the next song and title track “The Haze Is Forever” with vexation, rage prevailing and also gothic imagery “dreaming a case of your blood”, this should come as no surprise with the band labelling their genre as: Goth sex, diva culture.
“On Purpose” is thoughtfully placed as the third song to let the listener recover from the intensity of the first two songs. The shoegaze-esque beginning creates a mellow atmosphere, but the underlying rock guitar riffs swiftly transition into the forefront, becoming attacking punk guitar riffs fused with fierce beat of the drummer alongside Nickz exquisite vocals. This showcasing their use of merging genres but adding their individual twist, but the song structure is equalled with the sincere lyrics echoing love and meaning.
On “Crazy About Me” you can hear the band laughing then shouting “f**k you” for a tongue in cheek statement, with that sentiment recurring on the song, later on with “everybody loves me” and “all you do is buy us beer”, it is a depiction about the decadence of the youths partying culture but the message is slightly blurred with the silliness of hand clapping and overall features. The band does not take themselves too seriously and there is an immaturity element to them that works on a song like this.
Dolores Haze return back to the shoegazing manner with “Touch Me”, with masterly lead guitar playing, that creates its own realm from the other instruments, distorted guitar tones in the background and the rhythm section keeping the beat. Dolores Haze is a band that manipulates sounds from a range of genres to create a fresh sound. “Milk” begins with a cappella then explosively shifts into pure punk song and lyrically links back to “Crazy About Me” about partying culture, with lyrics repeating nihilistic conclusions “another night of wasting everything at dawn”, the song only lasting for one minute and eleven seconds.
“I Got My Gun” is electro-punk that sounds so separate from the album, it ruins the cohesion of the album. Dolores Haze revert back to their original sound to end the album, entitled “The Garden”, the song has an melodic guitar intro coordinated with rhythmic patterns and harmonies with Nickz flirtatious vocal performance, the subject matter exploring human sexuality but takes a rapid dark turn with a distorted guitar tone as a coda and Nickz shouting words with “you love me when your dead”.
Dolores Haze is a promising band that has made an interesting album. They have already established their own sound with indications to specific genres, punk, shoegazing, gothic-rock, the riot grrrl movement and are able to captivate the listener’s curiosity. Their new album The Haze Is Forever is out now via Woah Dad!, purchase it here.
Words by Jack Walters