They Will Be High
The Dum Dum Girls’ debut full-length, I Will Be, hit shelves a little over a year ago, and Dee Dee and her girls have been riding their moment ever since. They’re a hit. Boys love their edgy, punk-flavored attitude. Girls love their we-can-do-it-too self-sufficiency and stylish snarl. And luckily, on their newest Sub Pop EP He Gets Me High, they’ve diversified their sound a bit.
They’ve re-hired Richard Gottehrer as a producer—songwriter of “My Boyfriend’s Back” and “I Want Candy,” producer of Blondie and The Go-Gos. The difference must be that I Will Be was the product of Dee Dee’s New York apartment. Generally speaking, this effort is much sharper and a lot less lo-fi. While that may have been what some people loved about this band, no one would be too thrilled with another set of two-minute bedroom screamers.
The opening track, “Wrong Feels Right,” is better than any Will Be song. We can hear Dee Dee’s strong and brazen voice better, the drums have more variation, the harmonies are richer and the energy is rawer. The title track is equally strong. It starts out with punk-fueled guitars, hearkening back to their heart-on-sleeve love for The Ramones and The Jesus and Mary Chain. The psychedelic aspect of their sound is played to here, with more drone and jangly percussion.
They’ve never been shy on citing heroes and influences, and the closing track, a cover of “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” is neither a surprise nor a huge accomplishment. It’s lovely, but that song’s been covered at least 100 times in the history of rock music. “Take Care of My Baby” also isn’t as much of a thrill, mostly because it’s a slow-paced dirge that really calls on those “Be My Baby”/Phil Spector elements. Yet none of these are terrible things. He Gets Me High represents variety, and perhaps proof that Dum Dum Girls’ next LP will be something to get excited about.