Dum Dum Girls give new life to shoegaze sound

Dum Dum Girls: "Too True"

Dum Dum Girls: “Too True”

Dum Dum Girls continue to stretch and shape the boundaries of indie-pop.

“Too True” is their third full-length release, behind “I Will Be” in 2010 and “Only in Dreams” in 2011, all on the SubPop label.

Their music is likened to shoegazing or noise-pop, a whole tangle of guitar noise built around a romantic melody, with droll lyrics sprinkled on top. My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr., the much-celebrated Catherine Wheel and Cocteau Twins were early leaders. Groups like M83 and the Twilight Sad are picking up where the crazed 90s left off. Dum Dum Girls could masquerade as a happier version of Magnetic Fields.
The music in noise-pop often takes precedence over the lyrics. But Dum Dum Girls take it a step further and add a romantic element that’s immediately attractive.
The opener, “Cult of Love,” wears a faint veil of the 80s, and Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield.”
Singer and songwriter Dee Dee Penny sings like a honeyed vixen as a Middle-Eastern, James Bond-ish guitar hook seals the noise-pop feel.
Penny’s a chameleon, channeling Kristen Hersh and Blondie, with a touch of Siouxsie Sioux for toughness.
Penny never shows off her prowess but is wispy and subtle, recalling The Motels’ Martha Davis, with a pop sensibility and romantic bent. She’s at once delicate and elegant, with a masculine slant to her vibrato.
The rest of the band members are no slouches. Dreamy, precision drums color “Evil Blooms.” Dream-pop and a steady rock beat supports “Little Minx” as Penny floats above. “In the “Wake of You” and “Rimbaud Eyes,” one of the strongest on “Too True,” are more upbeat, playing on singular emotions.

Sometimes cliche creeps in on “Too True” but that sometimes works, as in the daisy chain of love, pain and pleasure on the booming, droning “Lost Boys & Girls Club,” an early hit single. “Too True” draws you in and keeps you there.
Dig It or Ditch It: Dig it.

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Filed under Electronic, Indie, Review

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