Dum Dum Girls Ring ‘True’
The Dum Dum Girls scream edge in their aesthetics — we see blushes of violent reds and blacks in every press photo. The same goes for their music. The album cover of “Too True,” their junior full-length album (released Jan. 28 on Sub Pop Records), features lead vocalist and guitarist Kristen Welchez, AKA Dee Dee Penny, coyly staring at the camera, decked out in the aforementioned colors, amidst a flush of blue and white clouds. The album’s visuals are representative of its overall sound — a quick set of ten tracks less than four minutes long each, all of which ooze pleasantly with shoe gaze, edge, and lo-fi buzzing reverb.
“Too True” kicks off with “Cult of Love,” which generates a sort of old school feeling. It is entrancing and starts off strong but not overwhelmingly so, and the following track, similar sounding, ends up becoming a “part two” of the prior. “Rimbaud Eyes” sounds more surf rock, and the guitar chords are embarrassingly reminiscent of “Barracuda” (if you’ve ever played Guitar Hero you understand this reference). Dee Dee Penny croons, “You got Rimbaud eyes” throughout the chorus, begging that listeners understand what this lyric means, aside from the reference to the French poet.
“Too True” continues in this generally upbeat tempo, becoming more entrancing with the track “Too True to be Good,” which is guided by a memorable drum rhythm rather than the trending guitars that lead the rest of the album. It meshes well with Penny’s vocals and flows into “In the Wake of You,” an equally fast-paced and enjoyable track. It seems to take from 1980s pop and blend it with elements of shoe gaze once again. The album closes on “Trouble is my Name,” an ironically sweet song with notes clearly higher on the neck of the guitar than those in the remainder of the songs on “Too True.” It is a melodic declaration for a significant other and ends the album on a pleasant note.
“Too True,” refines the sound the Dum Dum Girls have been working on since their formation in 2008. However, they take from the popular shoe gaze genre that can be traced back to the early 2000s. “Too True,” along with their prior two albums, does not mirror this, but rather adds faster pop rock elements, making it mentally engaging in this indie rock world that celebrates spunk and cuteness. “Too True” also adds surf rock elements throughout, and the girls confirm that they’ve still got it after six years.
RECOMMENDED: If you like grunge with some pop attached, this album’s for you.