Review : Dum Dum Girls - Only in Dreams
PitchforkSugar, spice, and overnighters in dank Italian jail cells-- these are the things that Dum Dum Girls' first record was made of. Equal parts girl-group gloss and brash punk energy, I Will Be paired the tinny jangle of Psychocandy-coated guitars with lead singer Dee Dee's exquisitely aloof vocals to create a vibe of timelessly cool abandon. It sounded like a girl gang had kicked the authority figures out of the principal's office, barricaded the doors, and taken to blasting their delinquent anthems like "Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout" and "Jail La La" over the school's loudspeaker.
The Dum Dums might have been the baddest girls on the scene, but they certainly weren't the only ones: over the past couple of years Vivian Girls, Best Coast, and Frankie Rose and the Outs have each dusted off the kitschy cultural detritus of 1960s girl-group pop and filtered it through a hefty dose of D.I.Y. grit. It's been a blast. But even the most enduring of the original practitioners carried some decidedly pre-feminist baggage (baby love, wide-eyed devotion, Svengalis), and at times the new stuff didn't feel too much more enlightened. Or at least it could have seemed that way if you made the mistake of looking for meaning solely on the surface of the songs....full text
GuardianIn the Shangri-Las' 1965 hit I Can Never Go Home Anymore, the song's fictional mother dies, and Mary Weiss unleashes a heart-piercing cry of "Mama!" A similar wail underscores the second album from Dum Dum Girls, a kind of latter-day Shangri-Las. Kristin Gundred wrote the lyrics following her mother's death, tracing every mood from shock to sorrow to impatience for the return of normality. On Bedroom Eyes and In My Head, Gundred no less throatily mourns the absence of her husband while she's on tour. With themes like these, the album could be maudlin, but that's not the Dum Dum style. Two droning numbers aside, this is wall-of-sound indiepop at its lemony brightest – and whereas their debut album, I Will Be, was scuffed by its home recording, every guitar riff, snappy rhythm and surging chorus here is polished to a gleam....full text
SpinMuch as the Smiths cobbled together glam, Motown, and kitchen-sink drama into a pocketful of Britpop gladiolas, so Kristen "Dee Dee" Gundred and her band draw inspiration from previous rock eras to mint something fresh 'n' fuzzy. (No wonder last year's nervy cover of "The Light That Never Goes Out" was so sharp.) They're the Phil and Ronnie Chain, putting the girl group in goth-pop. Gundred's richer-than-you-expect voice is the key to these jagged little pillows, whether dryly noting that a guy's "Just a Creep," soaring on "Coming Down," or lacing her echoes with sorrow on "Hold Your Hand," a reflection on her mother's passing....full text
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