Album Review: Dum Dum Girls – End of Daze EP
Release date: September 25, 2012
Utilizing the EP format to near perfection once again, the Dum Dum Girls continue to get dark and personal as they set the standard for their unique brand of goth-garage indie punk-pop and rock. While it’s not unimaginable to find a few bands that share their lo-fi sound (such as early Best Coast), the marriage that exists between their look and sound is solely theirs. It’s a sound with no sonic polish whatsoever. It sounds nothing like modern day pop music yet it is one of the most perfect little pop records of the year. Lined up in the middle of the EP is the year’s best back-to-back ballad combination punch of the year. The breathtaking cover of Strawberry Switchblade’s ‘Trees and Flowers’ followed by Dee Dee’s original composition ‘Lord Knows’ are tremendous. They’re the two finest recordings of the Dum Dum Girls tiny catalog and surpassing even their finest previous work – most notably tracks from the very brief He Gets Me High EP.
Where Dee Dee is striking her best chord though is with the conviction in her music. There’s no time for bullshit in Dee Dee’s world. Destiny’s Child this is not. Armed with an increasingly potent skill of songwriting and backed with improved vocals she’s becoming something of a tour de force for SubPop. Her songs are strikingly personal as is her delivery – void of theatrics other than her Transylvania wardrobe. Three times I’ve seen her perform up close in the past 12 months and there are no smiles, no bullshit, no overt sexiness despite being extremely capable. She comes across as the girl down the street who wasn’t born with the greatest gifts but has discovered her way into them. She reminds of the old cliche that, “While you’re sleeping, I’m at home working hard and getting better”.
I like the fact her husband, Brandon Welchez of the Crocodiles often stands at the side of the stage watching her. It helps the listener connect the dots to the enigma she comes across as with her cold as ice look that’s oddly mixed with the deeply warm and personal lyrics . As her skills become better her message becomes naturally more widespread – hence, the deserved success with the release of this well-received EP. What I find most compelling is looking ahead 12 months, and where she’ll go next. Her style of gothic garage punk pop slides her into a small corner in which the ability to blow that away becomes increasingly difficult. Can she really pull it off again? While we don’t expect her next record to sound like Garbage (her idols growing up) we wouldn’t be surprised to see her sonic landscape expand. If so, End of Daze is a perfect conclusion to her current run.