April 6, 2011

Jonah Bromwich may or may not be the “he” in the album title.

You can’t call it a revolution if it’s happened before, but the revival of girl-group punk pop turned more than a few heads last year. Thing is, with Frankie, Roberta, Vivian, and that lady with the fat cat, it’s become a bit crowded at the table. The competition is fierce, but Dee Dee and her Dum Dum stay focused. Why experiment when the formula is working? When in doubt, just pump out a melodic, buzzing, four song EP. Simple, short, and a nice bit of evidence that I Will Be won’t turn into I Was Briefly.

Four songs. The first one, “Wrong Feels Right,” is the catchiest thing they’ve made other than “Bhang, Bhang, I’m a Burnout.” Cute, even (dare I say) romantic, without being trite. Sweet but not stupid. And, like all good pop, immediately expressive of a universally relatable feeling. Second song, title track. Less pop, more punk on this one but both melody and sentiment remain present in spades. These tracks should be dominating the radio. Clear Channel doesn’t know what they’re missing.

Slow it down on the third song but keep the romance and make it a bit more, uh, chanteuse-y? This is music to neck to. Neck. Not hook-up. Don’t worry about letting it get a little languorous, the EP won’t stall out, and it’s the perfect way to conserve the energy you’ll need for the final track. Smiths cover. Who cares about obscurity when you can remake a popular song, not change much, and still make it sound as good as this does? Because this sounds really good.

Track number four? Enjoy this one, because it may be the last time we hear such light-hearted fare. Dee Dee’s mother was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and, accordingly, she’s said that the next album will be a lot darker. It’s the kind of occurrence that makes competition with other bands (whether girl-rock or otherwise) seem all kinds of trivial. On the flipside, it’s tribute to Dee Dee that she could have written songs imbued with such poppy innocence. Seems like something we’ve lost when one of the most played songs on radio right now is called “Tonight I’m Fucking You.”

A sweet, short EP like this doesn’t have to function as a mission statement for an emerging starlet. Think of it as a keepsake, from a time when Kristin Gundred still didn’t have much to worry about. Nostalgia for a simpler time, in both individual and musical terms. And, more simply, a kickass EP that doesn’t have to be any more than it is.

Download:
MP3: Dum Dum Girls-“He Gets Me High”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls-“Bhang Bhang I’m a Burnout”