Sassy underrated Los Angeles quartet DUM DUM GIRLS, with frontwoman Dee Dee Penny, have been lighting up the underground for a while now with their debut LP Only in Dreams under their belt and their sophomore, Too True, recently released. The transformation of the band during this time has seen slight, subtle changes to their sound, but each LP has shown real strength in songwriting, craft and especially sound.
There is no better showcase for Too True this than on the opener Cult of Love, a track that shows the gentle refinements the band have been making over the past few years; it’s a frantic slice of summery pop and ends with a gentle finale of synths fading out with emotional weight.
Too True shows Dee Dee Penny taking her particular blend of guitar-pop, 60’s garage rock and throwing in a hint of indie-shoegaze – and it doesn’t sound at all out of place. It defines the middle point of the album, between the somewhat disappointing Lost Boys and Girls Club and the bloody gargantuan noise of In the Wake of You, which is a slow burner with a clear melody and hook; it simply gets by with sheer sonic visceral force.
Earlier we get the band channeling their best Patti Smith/Siouxsie Sioux impersonation on the track Rimbaud Eyes. A song that wouldn’t sound out of place on Mantaray and Peace & Noise and shows Dee Dee’s skill to bring out some amazing pop nuggets (in other words it’s a really good song).
LP closer Trouble is my name plays the shoegaze card again; slowly breaking apart, stripping the songs layers away until it’s finally at its barebones. The track starts at a crawl, grinding to a halt before it even begins with sparse texture and ominous tones laying out the unstable groundwork while Dee Dee’s dusky vocals emerge to revel in its own human imperfection and frailty. It’s warm and majestic, and by far one of the most sentimental album closers you’ll hear this year.
There is a lot to like about this album. It plays with sound so puerile, yet, unblemished that where others have failed Too True manages to never sound dull in its ideas. DUM DUM GIRLS have been largely overlooked for some time now, and while their previous LP has been good, but not great – here, it has clicked. It mixes up a healthy blend of ideas and styles to create a superb little LP that you should get your hands on to begin the year in mighty fine style.
“Too True” by DUM DUM GIRLS has the potential for both fierce garage rock and girly indie pop, and Dee Dee extracts all the ominous sounds to aim at that goal.
NBHAP Rating: 3/5