Dum Dum Girls’ 2011 release, Only in Dreams, marked a drastic improvement both in terms of recording quality and songwriting ability from Dee Dee’s earlier releases on Hozac and Sub Pop Records. Unintentional as it may have been, however, the sheen added by producer Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes came with a downside — Instead of sounding like the Dum Dum Girls, a band primed with jangly, garage-pop, poised for the elusive next level, the band now came off as an imitation of The Pretenders, albeit one with lesser pop smarts and lesser presence. Consequently, “Lord Knows,” from the forthcoming End of Daze EP (9/25 on Sub Pop), feels like the correction to a career arc dangerously veering on the edge of anonymity. Dee Dee’s voice, while still charming, strong and expressive, is just a tad gruffer during this ballad. While the percussion, although drenched in echo, is not the standard dream-pop style. It’s as if they gave up on the cathedral effect and settled for a shed with higher than average clearance. Together, these elements when paired with gradual, morphing guitar tones, lend Dee Dee and the rest of the Dum Dum Girls that much needed, and much missed, sense of self.
- July 20, 2015
Political punk rock comes with a unique risk. What if all the causes you've been championing have been overtaken by more pressing issues by the time your album hits the streets? In our era, dominated by hot takes and social media firestorms, remaining topical is even more difficult. When you consider anarcho-punk forebearers, Crass were left to question their own strategy after Thatcher began and ended the Falkland's War in the early '80s while the band worked for more than a year on the double album, Christ - The Album, a modern band surely faces an even more daunting task, right? Who cares about Occupation Wall Street any more? In the past month gay marriage is the law of the land and the Confederate flag has (finally) become a poisonous symbol. A diplomatic, nuclear arms treaty with Iran has been agreed upon and a Cuban flag is flying outside of an embassy in Washington DC. The United States of 2015 is a far different place than the United States of 2012, when Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and his long, dormant band, Desaparecidos reunited for a second round of incendiary arena-punk. Read More