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.
- October 23, 2014
While the album title, 77, may suggest the golden era of punk rock, Nude Beach's behemoth, 18 song, 70+ minute effort actually pays homage to a different Rock 'N' Roll tradition -- That of the American bar rock band. That old practice of men working for the weekend and then ringing it in with beers and blasting guitars may wax and wane, but never completely goes out of style. Depending on your vantage point, the trio of Chuck Betz, Ryan Naideau, and Jim Shelton may remind you of Tom Petty in the '70s, The Replacements in the '80s, Wilco's early output in the '90s, or contemporary rabble-rousers like The Men. Read More