Be What Exactly?
You’d think you were taking a trip down memory lane hearing Dum Dum Girls. This garage pop quartet has obvious influences from the likes 1960s girl gang the Shangri-Las and 1980s-era Jesus and Mary Chain. Lead singer/co-producer Kristin Gundred, who goes by the stage name Dee Dee, has bubbly but tough enough harmonies to turn heads, especially in Dum Dum Girls’ newest album I Will Be, which zooms by in less than 30 minutes.
I Will Be seems like a self exploration for Dee Dee. The album cover itself is unique. Taken in 1972, it’s Dee Dee’s mother. With strong lyrics that are mildly drowned in fuzziness, she attempts something different with each song without straying far from the band’s original sound. There is even a song sung entirely in German, “Oh Mein M.” However, the simplicity and sameness of the songs stifle those attempts.
The album kicks off with “It Only Takes One Night,” which is more repetition than anything, not the strongest way to lure in listeners. The album then continues with another simple song called “Bhang Bhang, I’m a Burnout,” but unless you know a bit about drug terminology you would think they were speaking of another kind of “bang.” But this song calmly refers to marijuana and its hallucinogenic effects.
This quartet has a good angle but the simplicity kills it unfortunately. There are no songs that rise above the others, no distinguishing marks. That’s what makes I Will Be just “ok.” Maybe that’s what they were after. Who knows?