by / April 14th, 2010 /

Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be

 3/5 Rating

(Sub Pop)

‘Style meet Substance. Substance meet…Shit, where did she go? You’ve got to meet her. She’s rad – it takes a while to get to know her but when you do she’s totally awesome, like, real deep, y’know. I know you might not really be into that, Style. You like flashiness and sparkles and shit but Substance knows about feelings and psychology and things that are really, like, hard to explain.’

With what feels like increasing regularity, a new band appears mistaking looking cool with actually being any good. Leather jackets, shades, cigarettes, Wall of Sound, brick wall in the background of press shots. You know the type. They sing songs about their -baby’. They follow a lineage that begins with The Shangri-La’s and Phil Spector and along the way takes in The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, The Jesus & Mary Chain and countless others. Except they’re never as good as any of these.

Dum Dum Girls seem to be trying so hard to be cool that it actually gets in the way. It almost feels like a genuine choice of style over, y’know, the other thing. Unlike The Stooges or The Velvets, it doesn’t feel like that Dum Dum Girls were born to be on the stage. Instead, it feels like they’re more concerned about their hipster mates thinking that they’re cool. Everything seems a little too studied.

The most frustrating element of I Will Be is the drummer’s reliance on the same incessant drumbeat in so many of the songs. Where this might be their attempt at a -trademark’ sound, here it just becomes rather irritating and ruins otherwise good songs. And there are some good ones here hidden underneath the -recorded in a flea-infested bucket’ sound. Because when The Dum Dum Girls sound like they’re not trying to be cool, such as on -Baby Don’t Go’, it’s clear that they can create 24-carat scruffy pop gems.

Dum Dum Girls – Jail La La by statemagazine

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube

  • The most frustrating element of I Will Be is the drummer’s reliance on the same incessant drumbeat in so many of the songs.

    – it’s garage band loops.

  • Cunt

    I can name at least 5 other bands around at the moment of the same ilk and they’re just as shite:

    Smith and Westerns
    Best Coast
    Harlem
    Crocodiles
    The Vivian Girls
    (The Drums) The jury is out on these guys, I’ll wait and listen to their full LP when it comes out

    Its like a plague. When is it going to end.

  • Best Coast is good – she’s got proper songs

    Ditto – The drums – very poppy but they will piss people off due to their posturing.

  • Ross

    One of the worst reviews I have ever read. Maybe next time you can review the actual songs rather than how cool the band are.

  • jdiagonal

    Great review!

    I hadn’t heard any of the hype about this band, nor had I been exposed to their image, just picked up a couple of free downloads from rcrdlbl and lo and behold- the songs just aren’t that good.

  • Richie

    I think the songs are quite good, catchy at least, but the cheap production (such as the comical reliance on what sounds like the same two very simple looped drumbeats in almost every track) makes it sound monotonous very fast, even on an album that’s only half an hour long. It’s also funny that despite the emphasis being heavily on the uptempo garage rock numbers the best tracks are the couple of slow ballad ones.

  • PAULA

    this album is ok.
    i mean,its grand like.
    whatever.

    i wonder if they dressed in black sacks or tracksuits would it have been a better album?

    probably not.

    dear irish reviewers:
    you know,its *ok* to be in a band and have an image.
    really, it is.
    or rather it would be if people reviewed the music rather than the wardrobe.
    this still baffles me,even after all these years….