REVIEW: Dum Dum Girls – ‘Too True’

dumdumgirls

Artist: Dum Dum Girls
Album: Too True
Genre: Indie Pop, Lo-Fi
Label: Sub Pop

The Dum Dum Girls that we have come to know and love through the years is all but gone. And in the case of Too True, it’s not a bad thing. The progression we have seen from the stripped down, lo-fi band that we fell in love with from the I Will Be and He Gets Me High era to the juxtaposed fuzz-pop, feel good music and sad contextualized lyrics from Only In Dreams, has come full circle. And what we hear now is this ironic mix of surf-punk and ’80s goth rock. Dee Dee has finally indulged in the reality that she has perpetually hidden from during the past few years.

The change began with the band’s 2012 EP End of Daze, where it became less poppy, and touched the elements of dream pop. The single, “Lord Knows,” was a huge hint at what was to come. Then with the first song from Too True, which was released in late 2013, “Lost Boys and Girls Club,” we couldn’t run from it anymore.

All throughout the album we are induced with darker elements and concepts, such as cults, seeds of evil, and even name-dropping of deranged, French poets. But that’s not saying the nostalgic feel that the band’s canon gave is completely gone. Songs like “Are You Okay” and “Under These Hands,” despite the lyrical context, still give off brief feel-good vibes.

The second half of the album really perpetuates the goth-pop and ’80s feel and seems to metaphorically be the nail in the coffin (pun intended) for old Dum Dum Girls. “Little Minx” sounds like a dark A-Ha over and over again, while “In the Wake of You” would make even the late Ian Curtis proud. Not only do the vibes we get from the musical part of the album hint at a devolved band, but lyrically we get that feel too. Multiple examples portray that Dee Dee has acknowledged and gave in to the reality that she is different, instead of running and wallowing in the pity that she has wrote about after her mom’s death (via “Only in Dreams” and “End of Daze”).

The first “official” hint that suggests this would be the reference to the French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, with the track “Rimbaud Eyes.” In this track, she has a moment of self reflection before the collapse. “Truly, I have wept too much / In the dawn are heartbreakers / Every moon is atrocious, every sun bitter / Sharp love has swollen me up.” The reference to this man requires a bit of research. He acknowledged that to become the artist (or poet) that you desire, you have to devolve and give into the degeneration of senses and become a “seer.” “I want to be a poet, and I’m working at turning myself into a seer. You won’t understand any of this, and I’m almost incapable of explaining it to you. The idea is to reach the unknown by the derangement of all the senses. It involves enormous suffering, but one must be strong and be a born poet. It’s really not my fault.”

This idea closes and becomes all but obvious once we get to the final track, one that seems to either be the most brilliant track, or most confusing, if you don’t understand the rest of the ideas flowing through the album. “Trouble is My Name” seems to be the final acknowledgement; one of the most self-aware tracks DDG has ever created. She has become the seer. And she leaves us with the question, or more seemingly, the challenge of “Is it your name too?”

SCORE: 8.5/10
Review written by: Corey From

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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