ALBUM: Too True
ARTIST: Dum Dum Girls
The Dum Dum Girls have been around sometime now with their dreamlike, goth, pop sound that makes one want do the Charlie Brown dance while crying at the same time. Their sound is filled with an eerie mystery that is honed in on with Dee Dee Penny’s vocals, but the melodies and rhythms of their tracks are pure pop drenched in a miserable glaze. The all girl band that was established by Dee Dee Penny is back with their third album, Too True. The overall sound of the album sounds as if plucked from a cult feature film of the eighties as if it were a soundtrack. The album explores sinister tones and depressing lyrics that hide behind low thumping bass melodies and the airy vocals of Penny. The album as a whole explores vibes of The Cranberries and The Smiths with a Lo-Fi sound that might sound dated at first, but after a few listens the true beauty and simplicity of the album starts to seep through the cracks of its fuzzy sound.
Too True opens up with an eerie introduction that is an almost paradoxical representation of love or being in a relationship. "Cult of Love" puts a creepy and new perspective of simply being in a relationship. Instead of just making a simple pop song about falling in love with someone, Penny crafts an original outlook on the sensual emotion in the darkest way possible. The track might sound dated or simple, but it sets the extending mood for the rest of the album. It is not the best song of the album by far, yet it serves a nice ease into the mood that the Dum Dum Girls try to harness.
Too True continues with the track "Evil Blooms" that is one of the weakest tracks of the album. It has a terrible transition from the opening track and carries no necessary value. However this track is where Penny’s fatal flaw of her album develops. The eighties rock pop inspired sound has a repetitive chorus that seems to carry the track into a perpetual consciousness of boredom. The song has a gloomy bass that lingers over the beachy undertones of the electric guitar and the basic drumbeats. It continues with a simple verse into a simple chorus that tends to take the song nowhere specific or to its maximum potential. This pattern continues with "Rimbaud Eyes", "Are You Okay", "In the Wake of You", and "Under These Hands"; this accounts for half of the album! It is not that these songs are poorly written or unbearable to listen to, they just all sound too similar. Yes, these tracks all have different content and slightly different rhythms, however the pattern is the same and the instruments are the same. There is no development on Too True. There is no diversity. No Passion. No intrigue that carries on.
Despite this redundancy within the album, there are still a few gems that just a take a bit of excavation to appreciate. "Too Good to Be True", "Trouble Is My Name", and "Lost Girls and Boys Club" are the keystones of this album and do not follow the monotonous sound as the others do. Too Good To Be True is a promising track with its seductive nature and haunting lyrics that send shivers. "Lost Girls and Boys Club" is a melancholic anthem that hypnotizes. "Trouble Is My Name" is the best track of the album, but unfortunately is the last. Well, they do say save the best for last and the Dum Dum Girls did just that. This track holds no heavy connection to eighties pop rock and highlights the lovely vocals of Penny. The song may be the simplest one of the album, but proves that less is more.
The concept of pop turning over to the dark side is a notion worth exploring. The paradoxes of good versus evil and love versus death all behind the paradox of goth pop itself is refreshing and original. Dum Dum Girls have perfected the look with their all black, stone-faced, careless attitude and have done it to an attractive standard. They have the idea and the vision for themselves, but for their music it is a bit unclear. Too True may be uneven at times or tantamount but is not a complete failure. It proves that Dum Dum Girls has a signature sound; it is just that they have to expand beyond what they are already accustomed to in order to break the barriers of brilliance.
“I’m reckless at night, I’m sorry for day, I’m looking for you through lavender haze.”