Dum Dum Girls

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I Will Be (2010) , 6.5/10
Only In Dreams (2011), 5/10

Los Angeles' Dum Dum Girls, fronted by Kristin "Dee Dee" Gundred and featuring drummer Frankie Rose of the Vivian Girls, debuted with the punk-pop of I Will Be (Sub Pop, 2010), overall an infusion of jovial adolescent fun into an antiquated format. Past the pretentious dark dance elegy It Only Takes One Night, the band gets existential in Bhang Bhang I'm A Burnout (oddly reminiscent of U2's I Will Follow) and the breathless rigmarole of Jail La La, that borrows the hooks and harmonies of the sunny uptempo 1960s. The band can rock out, as they do in the Indian-tinged distorted garage rave-up Oh Mein M and in the breezy and mildly psychedelic I Will Be. They can also fall into catatonic dejection, as they do in the cuddlecore ditties Rest Of Our Lives and Blank Girl. There was nothing revolutionary. In fact, the whole project was clearly sitting on flaky foundations. They made the mistake of taking themselves seriously on the EP He Gets Me High (Sub Pop, 2011), with the naive Wrong Feels Right and the aggressive He Gets Me High.

The four-song RP He Gets Me High (Sub Pop, 2011) also contains the exuberant Wrong Feels Right.

Suddenly morphed into a Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders) soundalike, Kristin Gundred mastered the six-minute martial slocore ballad Coming Down but suddenly revealed weakness in the rockers (Bedroom Eyes, one of their catchiest numbers, Just a Creep, Teardrops on My Pillow) on Only In Dreams (Subpop, 2011), featuring new drummer Sandra Vu.

The Dum Dum Girls adopted a much mellower sound on the EP End of Daze (2012), sandwiched betweena shapeless pop tune like I Got Nothing (reminiscent of the many Belinda Carsliles of pop muzak) and the waltzing romantic Mine Tonight. Best is the dejected litany Lord Knows, that borrows the tone and part of the melody from the Velvet Underground & Nico.

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(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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