Following the flurry of lo-fi, fuzz -n’ buzz bands that forced their way into the earholes of many a self-respecting music nerd last year – Wavves, Nodzzz, Best Coast, Crystal Stilts and others of that ilk – Whelan’s once again finds itself playing host to a painfully-hip, cooler-than-thou, reverb-drenched outfit; though Dum Dum Girls are a quartet of rock chicks as opposed to some hairy Ray Ban-sporting Lou Reed-a-likes.
The touring four-piece enter quietly – fleshed out from Kristin Gundred’s (AKA Dee Dee) original “home-recording boredom killer” project – all cropped leather jackets, black shorts, thick fringes and cherry red lipstick. They launch into an atmospheric version of The Rolling Stones’ Spector-tinged -Play With Fire’ before any introductions are even made. The tone is suitably set.
After some initial microphone problems, Dee Dee timidly twitters out the pleasantries to an impressive crowd, this proving to be one of the few bits of audience banter tonight. This is really about the tunes. And what tunes they are. Ripping through a fair whack of excellent, less-is-more album I Will Be, Dee Dee’s voice is in fine fettle, bristling and booming in equal parts on tracks like -Bhang Bhang, I’m a Burnout’ and -Everybody’s Out’, while the guitars jangle and echo around the room. The three-way harmonies are even more impressive live than on record and the drumming is superb – rattling out that infectious boogying sound coupled with the beautifully ear-drenching aesthetics of 60s pop, a la a revved-up Ronettes, that has forced plenty of backsides into a cheeky shake before tonight’s gig.
Clocking in at roughly half an hour, no more could have been expected given the brevity of Dum Dum Girls’ oeuvre, yet we do get an encore before half the group shoot over to the jam-packed t-shirt stand to sign tapes and LPs, hock t-shirts to swooning fans and head for a 2am ferry. A quick, knee-tremblingly rocking evening then, with some of the best head-shaking since The Bangles coming from the hypnotic Dee Dee herself. However you look at it, girls with guitars are cool and Dum Dum Girls are at the top of their considerably grooving game.