Spread Too Thin
The way that Dum Dum Girls craft quality EPs, but seem to flounder when pressed to put out a full-length album, is as close a comparison as can come to the way we do music journalism today. The snappy and immediate are what get the people going, both in hype and in product– and yet Too True comes out swinging, only to be subdued. Opener “Cult of Love” scrubs off the last gritty glitter from frontwoman Dee Dee’s former recorded world as throwback ’70s superstar, and kicks it into overdrive with neon synths straight out of the next decade. Though she’s not decade exclusive, (those ’80s tones seem to pair well with ’60s distortion on “Evil Blooms”) she’s certainly shifted her aesthetic quite a bit.
The announcement of Too True came with a direct album art comparison to Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz. Dee Dee’s name is its own calling card for fiery female-driven rock in the same way that Miley’s conjures images of remedial twerking. Too True will get you moving, but its gimmicks wear thin come percussion-heavy “Little Minx.” It’s a little too much Kenny Loggins/”Danger Zone” bravado when Dee Dee can certainly more than get by with just a guitar and those vocals sharp and slick as icicles.
Longform Dum Dum Girls can be both maddening and gratifying. Pick and choose the strong points (“Lost Boys and Girls Club”), toss out those moments of weakness (second single “Rimbaud Eyes”) and you’ve probably got another quality EP at the most. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes Dee Dee to abandon the ’80s or incorporate even more to her sound; even more interesting to see if, in that refining process, she can truly find her LP opus. Until then, there’s always just a track or two waiting of your playlist and the promise of another EP to leave you begging for more.