Album Review – Dum Dum Girls


Dum Dum Girls -‘Only In Dreams’ (Sub Pop)

Most musical genres are seen as having a heyday that future revivals hark back to. Generally speaking, it’s often held that only the 2-tone movement of the late seventies really improved upon the movement that it was based upon. Yet I think the revival of interest in Indie-pop/c86 (call it what you will; just so long as you distinguish it from indie being short-hand for anything involving guitars) runs close. It’s often typified as being a mid-eighties concern because of the c86 cassette, though there were forerunners in bands like Orange Juice and Monochrome Set. And every so often it flickers into the overground again.

That’s part of the reason that people have -quite rightly -honed in on the Dum Dum Girls -along with acts like The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Best Coast and Girls. But scene or no scene, there’s a certian charm here that I like to think would have got song and band noticed whatever. It’s clear from the opening ‘Always Looking’ that this is a much more polished affair than its’ predecessor I Will Be – strange to think that was only eighteen months ago.

There’s probably not much here that’s going to draw in those not normally drawn to this style of music, though it’s worth noting that they are not ‘twee’ like some in the genre. Tracks like the aforementioned ‘Always Looking’ and ‘Bedroom Eyes’ and the album’s standout track ‘Coming Down’ ensure that this is an album worth hearing.

Overall, it’s a solid collection of tunes, and a heap of fun into the bargain. Whether there will be those who drop away not that they sound more polished only time will tell. But there’s so many worse ways of spending your listening time than pricking up your ears this way.

Only In Dreams is out now on Sub Pop.

Dum Dum Girls -‘Bedroom Eyes.’ mp3

Dum Dum Girls -‘Coming Down.’ mp3

2010…so far


Me on the decks at Pin Ups, Glasgow

It’s been a great start to the year, musically, and I’ve been trying to hear as much stuff as I possibly can. There’s been some wonderful stuff, some not so good stuff -and no doubt some stuff that I’ll rant about, and yet possibly even change my mind about.

So what’s floated my boat this year so far? Well, I’ve really, really loved the latest eagleowl EP Into The Fold, the closing track ‘No Conjunction’ is without a doubt my song of the year so far. I’ve also been knocked for six by Delorean’s latest album, Subiza, and the Call to Mind EP, all of which got five stars here.

Sure, the scots have had some excellent albums so far this year, what with the sophomore from Meursault, All Creatures Will Make Merry, and debuts from Kid Canaveral and Mitchell Museum. To say nothing of a slew of excellent releases from the likes of Burnt Island, The Scottish Enlightenment, Cancel the astronauts and Fear the Fives.

Further afield, I’ve been loving The Drums, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Dum Dum Girls and the Soft Pack, and the Futureheads have returned with what is clearly their best record since their debut. It’s not all been indie round these parts, though, as you’ll see when I post my review of the latest M.I.A. album, and releases from Konono No.1, Four Tet and Yeasayer have also kept their place around here. I was less than impressed by latest offerings from the likes of The New Pornographers and The National, though…

There’s still another six months left to go, of course, but it’s been great, so far…

Delorean -‘Stay Close.’ mp3

Dum Dum Girls -‘Jail La La.’ mp3

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti -‘Round and Round.’ mp3

Meursault -‘Crank resolutions.’ mp3

The Drums -‘Let’s Go Surfing.’ mp3

Soft Pack -‘C’mon.’ mp3

Yeasayer -‘O.N.E.’ mp3

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

Album Review – Dum Dum Girls


Dum Dum Girls -‘I Will Be’ (Sub Pop)

The Dum Dum Girls won’t get many points for originality.

There I got that out of the way – the obvious point that people are going to make. Sure you’ve heard many of these ideas before – fifties rock’n’roll, sixties girl groups and garage punk, seventies punk attitude, eighties indie and nineties shoegaze. Yet, it’s the freshness of the approach that startles here. If you’re going to get hung up on the concept of originality the whole time with music you’re going to miss a whole heap of pleasure.

The Dum Dum Girls, lead by Dee Dee have a real love of classic pop music (Check their covers of the Stones ‘Playing With Fire ‘ – the b-side to ‘Jail La La’ and this album’s cover of Sonny Bono’s ‘Baby Don’t Go’) and they’ve arrived with their debut long-player hot on the heels of quite a few acts taking advantage of c86-style indie pop’s current reappearance from the underground (see also Vivian Girls, Best Coast, Girls and most obviously, the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart). The first single ‘Jail La la’ you’ve hopefully heard by now, and gives a good idea of what to expect.

But it’s not just the uptempo numbers; ‘Blank Girl’ is a good example of how they can do heartbreaking, weepy numbers that reaffirm your faith in pop music even as it’s breaking you heart. The album’s barely more than thirty minutes long and in doing so, it’s got no flab, just sheer fun, fun, fun.

Oh – and if you buy it on vinyl, it’s got a really nice marble and black effect (and free downloads). Support your local record shop.


I Will Be is out now on Sub Pop

Dum Dum Girls -‘Jail La La.’ mp3

Visit the Dum Dum Girls on myspace

Presenting…Dum Dum Girls


Dee Dee, Jules, Frankie Rose and Bambi are the Dum Dum Girls.

With a name that nods to both the Vaselines and Iggy Pop, what you get is msuic that evokes both those artists, as well as fitting comfortably alongside the likes of the Vivian Girls, The Raincoats, Best Coast, Crystal Stilts and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Indeed, Frankie Rose was previously a member of both The Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts. Clearly, Indie-pop (as opposed to indie being dull, mainstream guitar rock) is back, and it means business.

Hailing from LA, and signed to legendary indie Sub Pop, their forthcoming album is entitled I Will Be. At the moment the only track of theirs commercially available in the UK is ‘Longhair’ on the recently released Rough Trade shops compilation, this surely cannot remain that way for very long.

Their music evokes the best parts of 60s girl groups and garage bands, s70s punk, 80s DIY, 90s riot grrl and timeless tunes. If these guys do not clear up this year…more fool the general public, frankly.

‘Jail La La’ is forthcoming as a single and is out on February 15, I will Be is out on March 29.

Dum Dum Girls -‘Yours Alone.’ mp3

Dum Dum Girls -‘Catholicked.’ mp3

Dum Dum Girls -‘Jail la La.’ mp3