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This review is from: Too True (Audio CD)
Mid-career EPs tend to either open or close chapters and End Of Daze – Dum Dum Girls’ stopgap between 2011’s Only In Dreams and their new Too True LP – did just that, bringing down the curtain on a sad episode in frontwoman Dee Dee Penny’s life. She’s back on form now though and, in her own words, Too True is her “best attempt at joining the rock ‘n’ roll ranks, of chasing pop into the dark.” And it’s certainly got a swagger, the girls’ trademark garage-pop embracing the commercial end of the 80s Goth-rock movement this time around.
I will not be the only one to pick Penny up on her pronunciation however. And it’s such a pity she mangles the eponymous poet’s name in “Rimbaud Eyes” so thoroughly because it’s otherwise a pretty great track in a stadium-sized, Simple Minds-meets-The Cult sorta way. Given its title, the cool “Lost Boys And Girls Club” later follows up this same vibe in exactly the way you might expect – frosty and full of taut, period hi-hats – while the gritty “In The Wake Of You” and “Little Minx” house more heroic, almost post-punk guitar work.
As good as it is though Too True is not all faux Goth posturing. With Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes on production once more the trademark Dum Dum Girls melodies were always going to be undercut by heavyhearted currents and you can hear his influence bleeding out on strong tracks like “Are You Ok?” and the closer “Trouble Is My Name”. As is in fashion courtesy of the likes of La Luz, there’s an unexpected spaghetti-surf bassline wandering all over the nifty opener “Cult Of Love” too and the fuzzy edges of “Evil Blooms” sees Penny’s new pedals put to good use.
In the press release she states that “So much of my life has been defined, aided, and even saved by music.” And, despite a couple of sub-par brooders like “Under These Hands” spread around the mix, Too True is, ironically enough given its dark hue, the light at the end of Penny’s tunnel, as well as a super solid start to 2014 for all concerned.
Best tracks: “Lost Boys And Girls Club” and “Rimbaud Eyes”