Band: Dum Dum Girls Release: 9/2011 Label: Sub Pop
1. “Always Looking” – A+
2. “Bedroom Eyes” – A 3. “Just A Creep” – A- 4. “In My Head” – A-
5. “Heartbeat” – B+ 6. “Caught in One” – A- 7. “Coming Down” – A+ 8. “Wasted Away” – A- 9. “Teardrops On My Pillow” – B+
10. “Hold Your Hand” – B
Comments: Quick thing that I’ve noticed right off: Dee Dee’s voice goes full-circle in the sexiness/appealing category. “Always Looking” is an Austin Powers 4 sound-track candidate with swampy guitar and even a happy-go-lucky clapping part. FELT! HEART! Haven’t heard that kind of stuff since The Go Team! In terms of stuffiness of hooks and all that stuff (pun intended), this album gets high marks. I’ve always thought Dum Dum Girls had some serious development potential when I saw them open twice for KK+BBQ. It was a relatively new band at the time so things live weren’t as “hitting” as on record. But this record is much fuller than I Will Be. We get better harmonies, better vocal focus. As various press releases indicate, Only in Dreams is about relationship emptiness and life emptiness. Despite this subject matter, it never really gets in the way of fun rock ‘n’ roll. It gives Dee Dee a much better platform as a song-writer. Make no mistaking Dum Dum Girls with their girl group contemporaries. The middle chunk of songs are fine pieces, but it’s not until “Coming Down” that things pick up. This song is powerful (as I’ve mentioned in a previous review) and will knock you on your ass if your susceptible to this kind of excellence. Upon showing it to someone, they quipped… is this a live recording? Not so much the case, though the distorted/washed guitars make one wonder. I am fan of this. Puts more focus on the beautiful songwriting. Bridge is perfect: “I THINK I’M COMING DOWN. HERE I GO…HERE I GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.” It does indeed have the same chord progression/vocal stylings as Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You,” but builds on it in a very modern fashion. As a rule, I Will Be packs more immediate punches, more in your face(ness) than Only in Dreams. Only in Dreams takes its time and this just goes to show to you how far this band has come. Going from Sub Pop rookies, to King Khan and BBQ Show openers, to Girls openers, they’ve spent quite a bit of time covering a lot of ground while getting their music out there. And great for them. They are headlining The Paradise in October. Check this out, check that out.
Band: Dum Dum Girls Release: 3/2011 Label: Sub Pop
1. “Wrong Feels Right” – B+ 2. “He Gets Me High” –A 3. “Take Care Of My Baby” – A- 4. “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” – A
Comments: This one begins where I Will Be left off. Like its longer predecessor, He Gets Me High personifies the tag noise/pop that has been applied abundantly to Dum Dum Girls music. The first two tunes are of the variety of rock ‘n’ roll that we’ve gotten a taste of before from the Girls while “Take Care of My Baby” is a blissful rockabilly number — light instrumentation, beautiful vocals, a little tambourine. The production on The Smiths cover “There Is A Light” is absolutely stellar. The studio sound captured on here is something that probably couldn’t really be replicated as well live, but it is what it is and that’s really brilliant.
How convenient! Three of my favorite bands will be playing together at the same location on a little tour. The Boston gig will be at the Bank of America Pavilion. Naturally, I’m going to see what I can do to make this. It’s still ways away: September 12. Side note: Dum Dum Girls are hot shit as an opening band, aren’t they? First, King Khan and BBQ then Girls and now this.
Artists: Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Leisure Location: Paradise Rock Club, Boston Date: Thursday, April 1, 2010 Grade: B+/A-
Act I: Leisure – They were ok, nothing special. Clearly, they had musical chops and they were decent performers, but the music just never came through for me. I didn’t hear great songs. In other words, the parts were better than the whole; for me, with a great band, live or on record, but especially live it’s vice versa.
Glen: Unlike Chris, I actually dug this band. As I said to him, I couldn’t really find a problem with their music. In other words, I might not have loved their brand of glam/dance rock, but I thought it was pretty catchy and the lead singer was a funny character. They reminded me of the Lovely Feathers with the keyboard and song structures.
Set List: follow me
no other place
Act II: The Dum Dum Girls – Things start to heat up. I saw these girls last October, opening for King Khan & BBQ and honestly they didn’t floor me. Don’t get me wrong, I thought they were decent, but nothing notable. This time around, I appreciated their performance more. I don’t know if anything changed with them, so it was probably just me. Anyway, I really dug their vocals the most. Still, this time, they didn’t send me flying off my rocker, but I thought they did a good job and I enjoyed it. Not to mention, as before, their dress and body movements on stage both caught my eye. I love the head bobbing and almost elegance in their appearance. I mean they look rather attractive in their all black get up and it’s certainly a sight for sore eyes!
Glen: Of course, it’s hard to go without mentioning the DDG appearance unless one wears a blind fold during their performance. They played a tight set that showcased some new songs like “Bhang, Bhang,” my favorite “Jail La La,” “Rest of Our Lives,” and “Yours Alone.” Also played were older ones like “Catholicked,” and some other song that I can’t think of the name, but they’ve been playing for a while. Like I said in my review of their 2010 album I Will Be, the drum beats are absolutely fantastic, but like Chris said their voices are beautiful.
Act III: Girls: Ahh my favorite Girls are Guys! Of course, the band I came to see and they did not disappoint. The group opened with the classic, “Laura” and immediately all in attendance it seemed, began singing along. The music was nice and soft, almost warm? lol The lights were a flashin’ but slowly and matched the music perfectly. Singer/Guitarist, Christopher Owens modestly rocked out with his funky, moonwalking dance moves. He really looked fly, definitely flyer than Whacko Jacko. They continued the set with other Album classics, such as “Darling,” “Ghost Mouth,” and their signature number, “Lust For Life,” which unsurprisingly garnered the greatest reaction from the audience. They created one hell of a song transition, actually three song transition, from the soft, yet infinitely endearing, “Hellhole Ratrace,” into the noisy (a first for the evening), garage like, “Morning Light,” then finally into the Grease resembling, “Big Bad Mean Motherfucker,” which also generated large enthusiasm from the crowd, including a trio of femmes gyrating on stage. Girls also played about six or seven non-Album lol tracks, including the new song, “Substance.” This is sort of a criticism of mine, but not really. Let me explain… Well, I anticipated knowing all but one or two songs they would perform, three tops! This was considering, I knew and loved all of their record. Incidentally, I didn’t know any of the tunes that didn’t appear on their record. Ohh well, I suppose this is not their flaw, but a bad on my part as a fan. Anyway, they came back for a sound encore featuring the classic, “Lauren Marie,” a track I was waiting for all night! Overall, they were a fabulous live band and I recommend everyone to see them, if you get the chance.
Glen:Like Chris said that three song transition — Hellhole to Morning Light to Big Bad — was awesome. It will go down in the history books as one of the most memorable parts of a concert for me. My only response to them playing five or six non-Album tunes is that they toured behind Album last fall. They are probably getting ready for whatever is next and want to get a feel for the new material.
Band: Dum Dum Girls Release: 3/2010 Label: Sub Pop
1. “It Only Takes One Night” – A+
2. “Bhang, Bhang, I’m A Burnout” – A 3. “Oh Mein Me” – A- 4. “Jail La La” – A 5. “Rest Of Our Lives” – A+ 6. “Yours Alone” – A- 7. “Blank Girl” – A- 8. “I Will Be” – B+ 9. “Lines Her Eyes” – A- 10. “Everybody’s Out” – A 11. “Baby Don’t Go” – B+
Comments: Dum Dum Girls! Yes! I like how last.fm puts it: “neither lo-fi nor too polished.” If you are looking for a quick hit, something to immediately latch you onto the group, I’d recommend “Jail La La,” the first single to go with this record. I’m already getting candidate for song of the year vibes. County jail sucks. “Someone tell my baby/Or else he won’t go out and save me” sings Dee Dee on the chorus. Literally, a great pop song that won’t get amazing treatment because it’s a bit lo-fi. Dum Dum Girls have been labeled a “buzz band” and I guess after opening for King Khan and BBQ Show and (soon to be) Girls, that’s kind of reasonable. For me, I knew the group had talent a long time ago; all of these songs solidify that. Definitely, definitely, definitely, DON’T just listen to this one and say to yourself this is pretty good and then never listen to it again. I usually do that with some decent records, but please something for me and get through this multiple times. The drums alone should have you hooked if nothing else.
Girls and Dum Dum Girls will be touring together in a little while.
As far as Boston area location, they will be playing at the Paradise Rock Club.
The date? April 1, 2010!
Yeah, buddy, that week is going to be awesome. The Black Lips start it off on the 25th and then you have Deerhunter on the 27th and then you have Beach House on the 28th (I’m still up in the air, but I kind of want to go now) and then this! Damn, bro!