Sunday, December 21, 2014

Album Review: Dum Dum Girls - Too True (2014)

If there was any sort of award for the best “short” album of the year, the latest offering from Dum Dum Girls would be hard to resist. Co-produced by veteran New York-based studio wiz Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, Go-Gos, others) alongside Sune Rose Wagner of Danish beat merchants The Raveonettes, and released on Sub Pop, Too True is essentially 30 minutes of garage-infused girl pop that harks back to some sort of golden age for the three-minute pop song.

The album is primarily the work of vocalist/guitarist Dee Dee Penny, who also gets a bass credit, along with help from co-producer Wagner. And while the end result is close to outstanding, the lyrically strong Too True tends to lack the fuller sound more evident on its 2011 predecessor, Only In Dreams, which in my view remains the best Dum Dum Girls outing (of the three albums). And it’s probably no coincidence that particular album was made by a full band line-up.

Too True is practically flawless in its attention to detail, with reference points for the shiny 80s pomp of The Bangles at one end of the pop spectrum, and the raw reverb-driven dark edges of the Jesus And Mary Chain at the other. Somewhere in the middle you’ll find a bit of Ronnie Spector, some Chrissie Hynde, and perhaps even some Patti Smith.

And whilst Penny hasn’t completely abandoned the angsty post-punk stuff of the very earliest Dum Dum Girls work, the pop flavours evident on Too True tend to complement the more commercial sensibility previously found on Only In Dreams … only in a shorter and slightly sweeter form.

Key tracks: ‘Rimbaud Eyes’, ‘Lost Boys And Girls Club’ (see clip below), and ‘Little Minx’ …

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