Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dum Dum Girls hit the big time

Artist: Dum Dum Girls
Title: "Jail La La" b/w "Play With Fire"
Label: Sub Pop
Release date: February 16, 2010

Since first hearing them about a year ago I have expected Dum Dum Girls to accomplish big things, and early 2010 finds the label Nirvana made famous releasing their newest single.

"Jail La La" is a catcy, well-written song, but compared to a tune like "Catholicked" it is very clean-sounding and safe. The goth-inspired dreariness of that amazing Captured Tracks 12" is replaced by a pop sensibility that makes the band sound even more similar to older British pop groups like The Shop Assistants. Granted, the band does not have to always give off negative vibes, but I hope the jump to Sub Pop does not lead to nothing but sunshine and bubblegum.

That fear about pop sensibilites snuffing out the darkness and weirdness Dum Dum Girls are capable of was a little hasty, as the flipside is a delighfully dreary cover of The Rolling Stones classic "Play With Fire". Doubled-up vocals make this already mellow yet chilling song less mellow and more chilling. I've been planning on doing a covers-only episode of the upcoming radio show, and this will sound great alongside Beat Beat Beat's "When The Birdmen Fly", any of the Carbonas Euro Tour b-sides, and another goosebump-causer in Vivian Girls' "Blindspot".

This release does not quite measure up to Dum Dum Girls' earliest offerings, but it still should make you long for a debut long-player.


Anonymous said...

the shop assistants are not shoegazers by any means. they were never associated with the shoegaze scene. in fact, they came before shoegaze even existed.

7inchatlanta said...

I always thought they sounded like those bands, even if they were a little less, well, amateur. I haven't been aware of shoegazing for long, so while I think it's worth referencing I might make a mistake or two when writing about it until I know as much about it as folks who have been listening to those bands for 20+ years.

Anonymous said...

=) no need to apologize. i'm just an old indie pop kid with strong opinions about the music i grew up with. i think a more accurate description of any band that sounds more like Jesus and Mary Chain's pyschocandy (blistering feedback and loud, bright guitars) would be "C86". C86 was a cassette that NME put out in, well, 1986. The bands on the tape were all jangly pop bands that loved fuzz boxes. Shop Assistants were on this comp. So was Primal Scream, Bodines, The PAstels, and the Wedding PResent. After this tape was released, C86 became the term by which noisey indie pop (and twee pop) bands were referred.
Shoegaze movement was Ride, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine type stuff (guitars sound like airplanes taking off).