Reviewed by Will S. on April 30, 2012
Dum Dum Girls is a band from California who make catchy four chord guitar pop songs. Their first album sounded like it was recorded in a tin can with a toy drum kit and a 15-watt amp, but on their second album they've stepped up to a much fuller, cleaner sound (although still reverb-heavy). The biggest improvement is the increased confidence of lead singer-songwriter Dee Dee, who provides an appealingly brash vocal presence. "Bedroom Eyes" and "Wasted Away" evince a surety of craft, with the hook as the elemental unit of the song. "Coming Down" is the outlier in this set: beginning with the phrase, "By tomorrow I'll be leaving," it ratchets up the tension by repeating the same descending chord progression until Dee Dee hits a powerhouse high note during the bridge with the line, "There I go." It's more than two minutes longer than the rest of the songs, and it hints at where the band could go if it really pushed itself. Some of these songs would have benefited from the compression favored on the band's first album, and the drumming at times seems perfunctory. But it's overall a very satisfying group of songs, and a portent of good things to come.