No idea why but low fi punk bands with a modicum of musical expertise and what appears to be a rather old cassette player with a microphone as their main piece of recording equipment do it for me every single time. The Dum Dum Girls name accurately describe this band, Sigur Ros they are not! Yet there is something hugely enduring about this album clocking in a a mere 29 minutes but packed with more fun than a bank holiday at the seaside with a 99, deckchair and a thunderstorm. The New York Times are right this is indeed "teen music for grown ups".
Derivative is the curse that many will scream when they hear this and they are absolutely right. The Raveonettes (the DDGs have already covered Heart of Stone) the Breeders and Vivian Girls have honours degrees in this type of music and songs like "I will be" dont half sound like the Yardbirds playing surf punk. Kristin Gundred (stage name Dee Dee)is the architect behind all this and she has a big confident voice and her song writing goes a very long way to offset the lack of originality. She has enlisted three other female band members and producer Richard Gottehrer who surprise surprise has also worked in the past with Blondie and the Go Gos. No need to go into great detail on all the songs just to say they are highly melodic, often ferocious and more often than not rather witty and great fun. "Jail La La" is a key highlight where the Blondie influences mix with riffs straight from the Undertones to create a great pop song, be assured you will be singing it forever. "Bhang Bhang, I'm a burnout" is utterly disposable, preposterous and overall bloody excellent. "Baby dont go" is the Dum Dum Girls versions of a mini epic that unusually lasts well over 3 minutes. It is a floating and light bubble pop ballad originally recorded by Sonny and Cher? (please correct me if wrong). It is beautifully sung by Kristin Gundred but clearly she is more in her element when it comes to fast and furious bedroom overdrive songs like "Everybody's out" the duet that is "Blank girl" and the wonderful opener "It only takes one night". Overall this music is about setting the controls to the heart of the fun and "I will be" is an album that is essential but in a completely inessential way.
After hearing & loving their second album "only in dreams" and seeing the reviews that suggested this, their debut album, was even better i was really looking forward to getting this one. To be honest i was a bit disappointed after my first listen as this is less smoother (production wise) and a much rawer affair than their classier second outing. However, I'm now a few listens further in and it's definitely growing on me. It's certainly suggestive of what was to come on "only in dreams" and has some great tracks notably "jail la la" & "bhang bhang, i'm a burnout" but overall doesn't quite reach the dizzy heights of their second album. There's a nice twist with a deep male (Brandon) vocal on "blank girl" (another good track) but as a whole it's let down by a few average numbers especially "baby don't go" which is the longest track but is a fairly bland ballad apparently written by Sonny Bono. Better than O.K but not as good as "only in dreams" so 3.5 stars this time.