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It takes a certain amount of confidence to use the title of one’s debut album to make an emphatic statement, especially when the title includes part of the band’s name. With The Haze Is Forever, Stockholm’s Dolores Haze are backing up their words with one heck of a record. The same confidence and attitude in the album’s title is heard throughout its blistering eight songs, a reminder that not every all-female group is making generic, lovable pop songs.
Instead, Dolores Haze is cranking out melodic post-punk music that builds upon the legacies of Patti Smith, Joan Jett, Poly Styrene, and Sleater-Kinney. Like these great artists, Dolores Haze is delivering messages about the ills that affect our societies while championing the independence and power of women everywhere. On “Reaching Placebo”, the often-stated critic of the materialism that has engrossed much of our society is the focus while the riveting “I Got My Gun” focuses on the violence that affects many women as does the edgy and foreboding “The Garden”. “Crazy About Me”, though, is a proclamation of self-autonomy, where beyond the oppression there is opportunity.
There are personal tracks that come across as one big f*** you to someone or possibly everyone. The mesmerizing “Touch Me”, which is filled with delirious distortion, is about overcoming a relationship. The cathartic punk rocker, “The Haze is Forever”, speaks to the blindness we’re often unwittingly exposed to by another person or a group of individuals. While the song is not an expression that the band is here to stay, it could very well be Dolores Haze’s anthem and the quartet’s signature song.
The Haze Is Forever as a whole deserves to be mentioned among the year’s best. While there may be more heart-stopping records, albums that rocked harder, and compilations that better captured one’s personal struggles, there may not be a more meaningful and relevant album than Dolores Haze’s The Haze Is Forever.
Dolores Haze are Groovy Nickz (vocals, bass); Groovy Fuck (rhythm guitar); Lucky Lollo (lead guitar); and Foxy Sagz (drums).
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