Dum Dum Girls, Too True (out now, Sub Pop Records, subpop.com)
If there is one thing to take from the opening notes of this album, it’s that Dum Dum Girls have come a long way from their humble beginnings in front woman Dee Dee Penny’s bedroom.
The follow-up to 2011’s Only in Dreams and last year’s End of Daze EP, Too True once again finds Penny working with producers Richard Gottehrer and Sune Rose Wagner (the Raveonettes) to create a shiny batch of lo-fi, ’80s-influenced garage rock. Like her band’s previous releases, Too True capitalizes on Penny’s knack for luxuriant songs framed by melodic guitar-pop arrangements and beachy undertones. But where the earlier songs are moody and gothic, Too True introduces a bouncier Dum Dum Girls.
Yet, some edge remains; these songs are for the women wearing leather and smoking cigarettes at the back of the party. Recorded in a New York apartment as well as at East West Studios and Hollywood’s infamous Chateau Marmont, the heart of Too True is still the lo-fi grit that caught our attention on End of Daze—even if Gottehrer and Wagner worked hard to give these songs a sleeker, more glittery sound.