Releasing an album that’s half-an-hour long is a feat many artists would find tricky these days, but Los Angeles-based quartet Dum Dum Girls are masters of the thirty-minute mark. Releasing albums the length of most bands EP’s has become a trademark of the girls and one they continue on their third album, Too True.
With album opener, ‘Cult of Love’, it quickly becomes evident that Dum Dum Girls have phased out the punk sound that was so dominant on their debut album I Will Be and replaced it with a far more dreamy, atmospheric sound. On ‘Rimbaud Eyes’, singer Dee Dee Penny’s vocals sound like the blissed-out love child of Debbie Harry and Patti Smith if they were backed by the Jesus and Mary Chain. ‘Are You Okay’ is reminiscent of the Ramones when they tried to do ballads, and sounds like a carbon copy of their 1980 cover of the Ronnettes ‘Baby, I Love You’, showing Dee Dee’s stage name isn’t their only homage to the punk godfathers.
It is easy to find what influences the Dum Dum Girls within each track. With Blondie Richard Gottehrer and the Raveonettes’s Sune Rose Wagner as producers, it is clear to see where Penny’s breathy vocals teamed with distorted sounds are being encouraged. Penny’s voice is strong throughout, but it feels as though she is holding back from the brash, confident vocals that are usually sprinkled across a Dum Dum Girls album. Her unique, and quite frankly flawless voice gets lost in a wave of distortion on ‘Little Minx’ and album closers ‘Under These Hands’ and ‘Trouble Is My Name’ are too slow and monotonous to warrant any real attention.
Songs such as ‘Rimbaud Eyes’ and ‘Lost Girls and Boys Club’ show potential and should please their fans, but the album overall feels like a tedious thirty minutes and lacks the outburst of punk that their previous LP’s had. This band have real potential, they should be up there with the likes of Warpaint as important female bands right now, but this dreamy shoegaze is falling short of the mark.