Dum Dum Girls I Will Be Review
I will admit that I have a soft spot for scuzzy garage rock sung by female lead singers. The problem is that this is a genre that is becoming strangely prevalent these days, which of course leads to lots of less than stellar imitators which dilute the genre and over saturate the market. One of the first acts to catch my attention in the last few years was the one women band Dum Dum Girls, who are finally releasing their debut album I Will Be, and have proven to be well worth the wait.
I Will Besounds like a Phil Specter joint if the Zombies were his house band any they brought in a tattooed, leather clad girl who doesn’t take shit from anyone to man the vocals. The melodies are tight and smart, but deceptively hidden beneath layers of noise and garage rock static. The record is short (11 songs stretched over 28 minutes) and flies by quickly. While I usually would gripe at least a little about an LP that is less than 30 minutes, this album is so sharp and sweet that I don’t think the high level would be maintained for much longer than main Dum Dum Girl Dee Dee (Kirstin Gundred) and her all girl group have for I Will Be. The album is a sonic burst of energy that combines the engaging aesthetic of Jesus and Mary Chain with some sharp songwriting and top notch production. Highlights are all over the record, but some of the very best are “Bhang Bhang, I’m a Burnout,” album single “Jail La La” the driving title track and the somber and sweet album closer, Sonny and Cher cover “Baby Don’t Go.
It would be easy to screw up the kind of music that Dum Dum Girls are creating. The music isn’t rocket science and they are treading over territory that has been ventured into many, many times. Dee Dee has a sweet voice that creates a great mixture with the scuzzy garage rock that the group creates. Dum Dum Girls came to prominence creating bedroom recordings for various smaller record labels, so there was some concern that her debut LP on Sub Pop might alter that sound, but luckily I can say that this isn’t the case. I Will Be is as gritty and soulful as her previous recordings while still maintaining that coveted lo-fi sound, and is a wonderful introduction to a band that has done well for themselves with their big introduction to the music world at large.