Dum Dum Girls: Too True – album review
Too True, the third studio album from dream-pop outfit Dum Dum Girls, is a neon glittering declaration of the group’s ongoing musical evolution. Louder Than War’s Alana Turk has a listen.
The shift in Dum Dum Girls’ sound from a lo-fi solo song writing project has been a case of evolution, with EP’s often acting as musical bridges between each album. Capturing the change that the band have undergone in recent years, Too True is the culmination of all the promise that has proceeded it. As the dark atmospheric tone of the record takes hold, it is clear that the band’s latest release is their most personal to date.
Occupied by extensive craters of echoing textures, the fluorescent aesthetic of Too True is firmly established in its reverb heavy album opener Cult of Love. Frantically paced, the resounding, yet clear, spectrum of sound broadens with the introduction of each new element, to which Dee Dee Penny’s sultry voice presents a pleasant contrast.
Evil Blooms takes the form of a shoegaze song, only accelerated and given vitality as Penny asks “Why be good, be beautiful and sad? It’s all you’ve ever had” over and over, like a mantra. The track employs sinister-sounding guitar, swirling vocals and churning, repetitive bass and drum lines.
As the record continues, the fundamental sense of seclusion within Penny’s songwriting begins to filter out, interweaving itself with the harmonic tapestry of Dum Dum Girls’ stylistic approach. Songs such as Too True To Be Good and Rimbaud Eyes (see above) encapsulate this amalgamation, whilst still upholding the bands pop-sensibilities. Too True To Be Good is both pessimistic and powerful, whereas Rimbaud Eyes explicitly displays Penny’s current literary obsessions.
Lead single Lost Boys and Girls Club (see below) seems to be the albums pinnacle with its incandescent glow radiating a real brilliance. Dum Dum Girls serve up a gloriously gritty and sophisticated cocktail of literate dream-pop for our ears, as distorted guitars echo with froth laden melodies and Penny rhythmically breathes out sensual vocals.
With the heartbreaking finale of Trouble Is My Name, the sharp, distinct depth of field created by Penny and her cohorts builds to a slow-burning crescendo, which in turn leaves the album as a whole feeling resolved and almost cinematic in its encompassing narrative.
New material from Dum Dum Girls has always provided refreshingly satisfying listening sessions in the past, and Too True is no exception. The tracks really come into their own on repeated listens, so whilst some may believe that the album doesn’t quite live up to previous works, it certainly doesn’t disappoint either. The artistic evolution of the dream-pop act is certainly an interesting one – Too True is a bold, yet confident shift for the band, intricately woven both lyrically and musically.
All words by Alana Turk. More of Alana’s writing for Louder Than War can be found here.