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Album Review
He Gets Me High

He Gets Me High
by Dum Dum Girls

Sub Pop

Review Date
5th April
Reviewed by
Courtney Sanders

While girl-fronted, vintage-tinged bands have arguably done their dash of late, Dum Dum Girls with their latest release, the four track EP He Gets Me High, have managed to sound relatively fresh, and, at the very least, continue to advance their own abilities and sound.

The hazy beach comber vibe that has been with us for the past couple of years is starting to sound tired. A myriad of bands releasing similar sounding – and for all intents and purposes throwback – music does nothing for the cause of each individual song. I first saw Dum Dum Girls, fronted by the enigmatic Dee Dee at South by Southwest in 2010, at the same time I also saw Best Coast, Pearl Harbour and a swathe of other girl-fronted Californian pop bands. Dum Dum Girls were arguably the most engaging, and go some way to proving this on He Gets Me High.

The EP ends with a cover of ‘There is a Light that Never Goes Out’ by The Smiths, and this is a telling sign of the direction of the album, and the potential of the band going forward. Black clad, with gothic eyeliner and dance moves, Dum Dum Girls meld the shimmery lo-fi pop sentimentality of West Coast artists like The Modern Lovers with a darker aesthetic; a bleak English attitude that is dually sixties melody and eighties, post punk schtick. Take the single, ‘He Gets Me High’ for example. Front woman Dee Dee professes traditional girl-group lyricism, which is further established by backing vocals and tambourines. However the smooth, sexualized nature of her vocals coupled with gutteral, elongated guitars and heavy percussion lends the band and their sound an edge that seems to be remiss from many artists of a similar vein.

While Dum Dum girls influences are easy to pin down and their sound is part of broader movement, ‘He Gets Me High’ hints at the depth the band potentially possesses. After all, it’s not that easy to cover The Smiths eloquently.


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