Dum Dum Girls – Too True

Things are stripped down, the bedsit Ganja-fug that often enveloped previous efforts  has cleared up and we get to hear her tales of loss and heartbreak in the round.

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Sometimes there comes a time where a band has to get to the point and show their true, inner colours. And for the Dum Dum Girls Too True signals such a time. Luckily the “realization” has meant a concentration of all that’s good about them, as Too True is a brilliant guitar pop record, possibly the band’s best. It’s also (possibly) the record that will split people most as to their talents/trendiness/relevance; as, (if I was being impish) I could pitch it as a classic sell out record. I mean, just look at the cover! Glossy production, clean, sharp lines... the artwork is as bold a statement of intent as you’ll ever get.  No more vagaries or retro flirtations (though in many ways the Dum Dum Girls continue to hone their obsession with creating a classic timeless, sound on which to hang singer Dee Dee’s romantic musings). And that production... my, oh my. It’s the sort of ice-cold, crackling, stadium sound that Bob Clearmountain injected into to stuff like Simple Minds’ Ghostdancing.

Before you run off sobbing into your retro teeshirt, let me assuage you with sweeter thoughts.

As with their other records the LP is heavily laden with the scents of the bedroom. In fact, I can’t imagine listening to something like Rimbaud Eyes, Are You Okay or Trouble is My Name anywhere else but a bedroom; such is the languorous and melancholy feel the music conjures up. It’s their sexiest record by far; a true soundtrack to an afternoon’s lounging under the sheets (or worse). In fact, despite the emotive nature of their previous LPs, this is the record where DeeDee’s considerable writing skills really shine through. And that’s down to the production, no doubt. Things are stripped down, the bedsit Ganja-fug that often enveloped previous efforts  has cleared up and we get to hear her tales of loss and heartbreak in the round.  She really is a rock poet, and she has a brilliant ability to sugar coat the difficult stuff in the simplest of couplets and through the most effective of riffs and hooks (and In The Wake of You is a brilliantly effervescent example of this). No, despite the Breakfast Club vibe that gets everywhere on Too True, it’s a brilliant sing-along record, chockfull of pleasing hooks and counter melodies and the right sort of snappy, growly guitar lines. The classic Bunnymen guitar arpeggio in Under These Hands is worth your money alone, and was such a long lost sister to the guitar lines in Lips Like Sugar I felt like contacting Will and saying “ey up, have you heard this?”

Smashing stuff.