Archive for the ‘Dum Dum Girls’ tag
Dum Dum Girls’ latest EP, End of Daze, is rich enough to fill an entire album. Led by frontwoman Dee Dee Penny, the band have been wowing critics with their retro rock vibe and subtle, lo-fi sophistication since their 2010 debut, I Will Be. Dum Dum Girls’ fairly recent beginning was certainly auspicious enough, but in just two years, the band have traveled in only two directions: up and up.
End of Daze is five songs, eighteen minutes, and filled to the brim with near-perfect pop. Dum Dum Girls are thoroughly modern, yet easily recall bands like Blondie, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and all-girl groups such as The Ronettes and The Shirelles in the most pure, un-ironic way. There’s something refreshingly new yet incredibly comforting about the way Dee Dee sings, and the way the sounds come together as an entire package; from distorted, buzzy guitar to perky tambourine to gentle background harmonies. “Need you here to be my guide/pull me out to the other side,” Dee Dee sings on End of Daze opener “Mine Tonight,” a song inspired by the death of Dee Dee’s mother. It’s a slow, monotonous beginning that explodes in-and-out of a tornado of percussion, sort of like the fast-slow-fast-slow patterns made recognizable by Pixies. It’s dark, emotional subject matter that all at once feels lonely, lovely, and light.
Loneliness does prevail on End of Daze, from the ironic EP title (it is 2012, after all) to the emotional repetition of “I feel nothing, I feel nothing” on second track “I Got Nothing.” The opening of the gentle “Trees and Flowers” recalls all the anticipation and comfort of the sounds of an orchestra tuning up before a performance; it’s smooth, sweet, and emotive. When Dee Dee sings “I get so frightened/No one else seems frightened, only meeeee,” her voice soars into the distance, never quite reaching an end.
Unfortunately, End of Daze does reach an end; first with the melodic, familiar rock ballad “Lord Knows,” and then the dreamy, post-punk riff of “Season in Hell.” “I don’t want to fade, I just want to shine,” Dee Dee sings on “I Got Nothing.” And isn’t that what we all want? It’s amazing that it only takes five songs for Dum Dum Girls to make a complete, honest statement, but at it close, End of Daze truly comes full circle.
4 / 5 bars
2011 owned in terms of music. Class-acts Metronomy and TV on the Radio lit up the scene and newcomers Cults and The Weeknd wowed us. Here’s my list of favorite albums, and I ain’t apologizing to no one.
10) Changing The Rain – The Horrors – Skying
9) Doomsday – Nero – Welcome Reality
8) Teardrops On My Pillow – Dum Dum Girls – Only in Dreams
7) The Zone (Feat. Drake) – The Weeknd – Thursday
6) Chicago – Tom Waits – Bad As Me
5) Dead And Gone – The Black Keys – El Camino
4) Never Saw The Point – Cults – Cults
3) Bizness – tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
2) The Bay – Metronomy – The English Riviera
1) Will Do – TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light
Listen to select tracks of the best album on our handy player widget or at grooveshark.
On Only in Dreams (Sub Pop), the Dum Dum Girls make a tangential but well-played detour from their edgy and in-your-face debut I Will Be to a softer, but more emotionally intense style. It’s indie rock that is fresh and has a womanly beckoning of sweetness, but also the saltiness of women who know the world isn’t always sweet. You’ll hear Chrissie Hynde Terri Nunn of Berlin, the Go-Go’s, Gwen Stefani being channeled, making for an entertaining rock chick soup of sound.
“Bedroom Eyes” reflects the understated wistfulness for a missing lover and “Coming Down” thunders into the ear with some reverberating distortion. The experimental sound with these doesn’t always work – somehow Gundred’s voice is too pure to jibe with the static. Maybe that’s the point? Tinged with sadness and the acknowledgement of a loved one’s flaws, “Coming Down”is an especially emotion-soaked expression that tugs at you. “You abuse the ones who love you/ You abuse the ones who won’t.” In some ways, it matches up as a female parallel to Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea’s “Down” off the Basketball Diaries soundtrack.
It’s not surprising to hear so many post-punk New Wave surfpop influences in Only In My Dreams when you consider the veteran songwriter and producer- record label exec Richard Gottehrer, who wrote among others the 1960s “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “I Want Candy” by early 80s group Bow Wow Wow and produced Blondie’s debut album. Gundred’s voice is distinct though, smoky, and polished. She’s come here to do a familiar job. Varying the mood and inflections is the amusing “Just A Creep,” a funny show of dismissive tolerant apathy towards a boyfriend who is untrue but entertainingly so.
Edgy, indie, sexy, soulful, Dum Dum Girls (their name a fusion of Iggy Pop song “Dum Dum Boys” and the Vaselines album “Dum Dum”) surge slightly forward and hold their own.