Record review: Dum Dum Girls – Too True (2014, LP)

DDG

What began in 2008 as a bedroom musical project for Dum Dum Girls singer-songwriter Dee Dee Penny must surely now be regarded as a pretty big deal. This third album from the Los Angeles native’s group comes bursting at the seams with an exhaustive list of influences that sees the band’s sound further moving away from that found on 2010’s I Will Be and 2011’s Only In Dreams. Opener ‘Cult of Love’ comes out of the traps at pace, like some sort of nightclub-noire rockabilly Blondie, and is closely followed in a similar vein by ‘Evil Blooms’; a swirly, fuzzy, The Cure-esque number, and ‘Rimbaud Eyes’, which plunders the sound of Michael Stipe and R.E.M. at their darkest. Elsewhere ‘In The Wake Of You’ gets punchy and lo-fi, ‘Lost Boys and Girls Club’ reeks of The Jesus and Mary Chain, and closer ‘Trouble Is My Name’ comes off like a gloomy yet laid-back Siouxsie Sioux. While some of the Dum Dum Girls’ earlier work could be called scuzzy, the production here is spot on; big where it needs to be, and restrained when it should be. In saying that, there’s a definite ’80s feel running throughout the album, and while to some that might sound like an insult, in this case it’s a compliment. Penny takes influences from only the best of that much-maligned musical decade – from New Wave, college rock, and most of the better indie-pop, and combines them with her trademark pop hooks to make a record that’s as catchy as it is charming. (Sub Pop)

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