Filed under: album, review | Tags: charlotte richardson andrews, dum dum girls, i will be
Dum Dum Girls
I Will Be ••••
Adopting their name in homage to the Iggy Pop number ‘Dum Dum Boys’ and The Vaselines’ album Dum-Dum, this SoCal solo project turned all-girl band is the brainchild of one Kristin Gundred, or Dee Dee as she now likes to be known. A home-recorded CD-R, released on her own label Zoo Music, led to a 7″ on HoZac and the eponymous 12″ EP on Captured Tracks that Wears The Trousers has been savouring aplenty while awaiting this salivated-over full-length. Early hype over her mysterious, out-of-nowhere Myspace songs was exacerbated by a shyness that meant Dee Dee obscured her face with masks and carefully positioned vinyl in the few photos that surfaced. The front cover image of her mother as a young woman is both a sweet tribute and a reminder of Dee Dee’s introvert tendencies, the warm tones and subtle retro touches of the photo pointing perfectly towards the nostalgic influences at work on the album.
I Will Be sifts ’60s girl-group sentiments through a filter of sparkling pop structures and garage-punk salutations, all cultured under the care of producer Richard Gottehrer, whose own songwriting genius (‘My Boyfriend’s Back’, ‘I Want Candy’) and work with Blondie, The Go-Go’s and The Raveonettes makes him a perfect overseer. The uptempo ‘It Only Takes One Night’ breaks open the album with a thudding sense of urgency, setting off an album brimming with adolescent-inspired passions that run from driven and lovesick to heart-throbbing bliss and hip-swaying fun. The dramatics of girl/girl copycatting rivalries are sung with hummingbird vocals and Ronettes-style handclap beats on ‘Lines Her Eyes’, while the psychedelic alterations of marijuana are serenaded on ‘Bhang Bhang, I’m A Burnout’. Other highlights include the heart-tattoo singsong of ‘Yours Alone’, which features guitar work from Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, where tender and steamy first-love escapades are reminisced over, the swooning, crush-heavy love of ‘Rest Of Our Lives’, and ‘Blank Girl’, an epically sweet duet with Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles.
With each wave of reverb, I Will Be coasts with summery surf magic. Dee Dee’s rays of shimmering, harmony-rich vocals are lush, smoky and plenty seductive. There’s a wholesomely sensual, romantically frenetic power to the album, captured on the surfy bravado of the title track, which speeds with beating-heart rhythms and twanging guitar trysts. The urgency that began on ‘It Only Takes One Night’ is simmered down into the melancholy, angelic harmonies and fine, twinkling strings of closer ‘Baby Don’t Go’, bowing out an album that thrills from beginning to end. It’s over in less than half an hour but radiates with a versatile, classic greatness that means repeated replays are a necessary joy. Further affirming the band’s place within the swirling LA music scene, I Will Be is the schoolbook crush that grew up into a genuine young love; blissfully exciting and forever cherished.
Charlotte Richardson Andrews
UK release date: 29/03/10; www.myspace.com/dumdumgirls
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