Dream Wife make waves in LA debut at Echoplex

London-based rockers Dream Wife made their Los Angeles debut Monday night at the Echoplex and they’re a band on the rise you need to put on your radar immediately.

Their riff-heavy hook-driven brand of rock is sure to blow them up sooner rather than later, and they’ve already got their live performances pretty well figured out it seems. Dream Wife is comprised of Rakel Mjoll on vocals, Alice Go on guitar, and Bella Podpadec on bass. They had a drummer sitting behind them as well for their live show. Go and Podpadec also offered solid backup vocals.

The band didn’t seem at edge at all and Mjoll was funny with her banter between songs. She remarked how she didn’t realize she had lied to her friends that they were playing LA when they opened for The Kills and it turned out to be Anaheim. But she relished the fact they “finally made it” to Los Angeles proper.

I got an e-mail about this band from their publicist about a month ago and immediately circled them as must-see. They give me a kind of heavier version of Metric vibe, with a more pop-driven kind of songwriting. The lyrics are mostly pretty simplistic, but Mjoll delivers them with such fiery force that they hit harder than they should. She has such an expressive look on her face while singing, you get the full feel of what she’s singing.

It’s no surprise that they opened for The Kills on a series of dates, given the similar riff-heavy sound. Alice Go made it look so easy as her hand went up and down the fretboard.

The song “Kids” sounds straight out of the ’70s. I guess British bands are the best at writing about friendship (Wolf Alice’s “Bros” strikes a similar chord), though this one is definitely more of a pre-game party anthem.

Another song that isn’t so simply written and that stood out is “Somebody” — which with a chorus of “I am not my body, I’m somebody”, it’s no surprise it was dropped on International Women’s Day. It features a heavy focus on women reclaiming their bodies, and Mjoll sang this chorus with ferocity. There were a handful of women pumping their fist in the crowd along to the chorus.

“FUU” is a very angsty rock anthem. Alice Go’s reverberating opening riff sounds like it could’ve been in the film Wanted. Mjoll sings “I’m gonna fuck you up, I’m gonna cut you up, gonna fuck you up” so matter-of-factly before screaming her lungs out and also sampling Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”. It exploded live.

The band closed their set with their latest single “Let’s Make Out” — a song that sounds like the ultimate sloppy drunk make out jam.

By the end of the show the crowd looked at each other in disbelief at how on it this band was. I was surprised at the low turnout, but I have a feeling that in a few years a bunch of people will be saying they were at that show that weren’t. Hopefully they get back to LA sooner rather than later.

Photos courtesy of Tim Aarons (full gallery at the bottom of this post)