Think old-school Blondie and a Joan Jett-esque attitude, then throw in that rough-around-the-edges, blurry mid-fi 60’s sound, and you might come close to the sound of Dum Dum Girls. The California based girl-group, led by charismatic front woman Dee Dee, practically scream girl-band revival, with all the rebellion and teen heartache to match. Fuzzy electric guitars and an intrinsically catchy, pop-rock sound, make I Will Be, a 29 minute sensation of a debut album, and a perfect scuzzy summer soundtrack.
The majority of the album’s tracks are snappy, fast-pace whirls of punkish liveliness, with a charming rawness of vocals and lyricism. Imagine the simple honesty and high-speed energy of The Ramones doing ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’, and with a touch more innocence and tranquillity, you have the Dum Dum Girls and their harmonious tales of county jail cells and adolescent angst. ‘Jail La La’ stands out in terms of its memorable, defiant charm and the collective sounds of bass, drums, guitar and fiery vocals effortlessly create melodious vividness. Nearing the end of the album, songs like ‘Blank Girl’ mark a noticeable change in tone, with sombre and lonely male backing vocals juxtaposing effectively with the mass of female voices, crafting a somewhat more melancholy, though no less captivating, edge.
This roughly recorded album, produced with the help of Blondie, is both dusky and upbeat; loud, untameable and boisterous, yet in places, touchingly sensitive and soft. ‘Baby Don’t go’ ends the otherwise high-energy debut on a delicate note, with the soft, hazy guitars and lullaby-like lyrics (“I love you so/Pretty baby please don’t go”) comfortably rounding off the screaming intensity of furious and passionate emotion the rest of the album presents. The punk stylings and catchy appeal of this group of attitude-ridden, turbulent women is set to attract and resonate with the masses, and despite a samey nature to some of the songs, could splash the Dum Dum Girls into the limelight, once and for all.
I Will Be is out now on Sub Pop, you can download ‘Jail La La’ from the album here.