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Dum Dum Girls I Will Be Review

Album. Released 2010.  

BBC Review

I Will Be could lift our subjects here higher still into the overground ozone.

Noel Gardner 2010

Although Brooklyn-based Dum Dum Girls pass the first band name-based test of integrity – are you really female, or have you just implied so to be ‘wacky’? – it still carries trace elements of fabrication. The first few releases under the name, on bedroom-sized indie imprints (this debut is on the far larger Sub Pop label), was the work of one girl only, a Kristin Gundred, calling herself Dee Dee in what must at least partly be a Ramones tribute. I Will Be was however created by a quartet of ladies, and fuzz-coated indie-pop bliss has resulted.

Dum Dum Girls follow in the slipstream of a small but significant cluster of bands, such as Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts: Frankie Rose, who Dee Dee enlisted as drummer for the project, has actually spent time in both of those bands. It’s conceivable that I Will Be could lift our subject here higher still into the overground ozone. Largely absent of slashing feedback and shades-wearing insouciance, their melodies are clearer and sunnier, with tunes like Jail La La moving at a brisk psychedelic/garage-y strut. Elsewhere, the combination of naiveté and sharp claws calls up 80s British indie relics like the Shop Assistants and Talulah Gosh. The title-track is a glowing highlight, pacey and vocally reverbed to 90s shoegazing levels.

Not exactly a showcase for poetic invention, certain snippets of phrase still burst through, for example: “My first kiss was at the docks” (Yours Alone, which features Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner on non-essential guitar duties). On the whole, I Will Be invites you to be whisked along by the sheer energy burst: the pots’n’pans clatter of the drums, the crackle and fizz from the amps and the bitter take on romance from Dee Dee herself.

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