REVIEW: Dum Dum Girls – “Only In Dreams”

Dum Dum Girls / Only In Dreams / Sub Pop

Though the indie pop California act have been melting hearts with drowned out waves of fierce, fuzzy goodness since 2008, it’s as if audiences have just noticed the foursome are exceptionally seductive. Even if most were playing “the shallow idiot” role, the provocative burst of sound should not be ignored. As Dum Dum Girls raged on I Will Be with a combination of menacing bubblegum pop and lo-fi exhaust, Only In Dreams straps on a dreamier concept, one that pictures Kristin “Dee Dee” Gundred and her backing group as songwriters, not burnouts laced in cherry lipstick. Sandy Vu’s drum work is tighter (“Always Looking”), Jules’ is a bit more technical and when Bambi and Dee Dee fire bass licks and carnal vocals at each other, as they do on the lustful number “Bedroom Eyes”, nothing but pleasure hits the atmosphere around you.

Dee Dee has always been caught in the gunfire of being taken seriously as an artist and Only In Dreams proves her worth as a creative mind. Those who know her are aware she’s quite the intellectual and that’s translated to this recent project; “In My Head” and “Just A Creep” are the sort of pop fuzz that’s been done before, but the way she plays with vocals on “Heartbeat” and lets a track come to life with an affectionate bounce of a chorus (“Caught In One”) shows she’s become more analytical. Absorbing such a perspective can lead one into producing an output that’s foolishly generic and though Dum Dum Girls trip over that during some of the LP’s moments, it’s often overshadowed by the album’s high points. Not many can make a six-and-a-half-minute song (“Coming Down”) a pleasure to hear, and at the same time, not many can carry a high note that pops without delay and trembles with the vigor of both jazz and classic rock. Dee Dee does it so fluently the aftermath is oddly comforting and sensual.

Download: “Bedroom Eyes”, “Coming Down”


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