Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be

I WIll Be

I’ve listened to this album at least once a day for the last five days. I adore it. I adored it from the first huge, driving drumbeat of epic sounding opening song “It Only Takes One Night”.

Dum Dum Girls is essentially one girl, Dee Dee (real name Kristin Gundred). Though, she has brought on three girls since she first started. They add pretty vocal harmonies and a really tight rhythm section. By the third track, “Oh Mein M” you’ll start to think, “hey this reminds me of The Go-Go’s a little, except noisier”. Turns out, the album was co-produced by Richard Gittenhrer, who produced The Go-Go’s first album Beauty And The Beat, which has “We Got The Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed”. (That whole album is great BTW.) He also produced the first two Blondie albums and The Raveonettes albums Chain Gang Of Love and Pretty In Black. The Raveonettes are both, in sound and lyrical themes, the perfect modern comparison. While Dee Dee wrote all the songs herself, it should be noted that Gittenhrer wrote the songs “My Boyfriend’s Back” (covered by The Raveonettes) and “I Want Candy”.

Dum Dum Girls clearly are influenced by all those reference points. But, there is no denying how great these songs are. Dee Dee has created ridiculously catchy girl-group pop-punk songs. The album has buzz saw guitars, driving drumbeats, lots of reverb, and lo-fi production. The whole album is somehow both dreamy and punky, both sunny and melancholic. The songs bounce, like the on “Jail La La”. The vocals are often sing-songy, like the opening words “Bhang bhang” on “Bhang Bhang, I’m A Burnout”. The lyrics deal with teenage concerns like love on “I Will Be”, drugs on “Bhang Bhang, I’m A Burnout”, girl-girl competition on “Lines Her Eyes”, and fighting authority on “Jail La La”. Dee Dee’s voice is pitched somewhere between Karen O and Cat Power. Coincidentally, Nick Zinner plays guitar on driving track “Yours Alone”, and it speaks to the overall songwriting and production aesthetic that you wouldn’t know it had you not read the liner notes. The whole album whips by fast (it also clocks in at 28:44), nearly every song is a burst of light, rocking and likable. But, as her cover of Sonny & Cher song “Baby Don’t Go” proves, Dee Dee can do aching balladry too. It’s a gorgeous cover. I Will Be will easily remain one of my favorite albums of the year, and it’s likable enough for me to recommend to anyone.

It Only Takes One Night

I Will Be

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2 Comments to “Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be”

  1. i just DL this a few days ago and it’s fabulous I love it so much. I really have to start getting used to checking this blog again.

    • Aww, well, it’s my own fault for abandoning it for so long. I’m really glad you get something out of it.

      And BTW, I’m obsessed with this album. It’s everything I love about music.

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