Dum Dum Girls: End Of Daze
- Dee Dee and her Dum Dum Girls have come a long way from the lo-fi garage where they originally lounged, smoking desultory cigarettes and looking bored. We already knew that Dee Dee had been taking a few singing lessons - probably from Chrissie Hynde!! - listening to her plush new vocals in the now slick production sound of last year's EP, He Gets Me High. End Of Daze takes those ingredients and, abandoning former, shallow infatuations, plunges into darker and more gothic splendour than ever before. It's not really surprising, sadly Dee Dee's mum passed away not that long ago and these songs are loaded with morbid introspection. "I dreamed a death / It's mine tonight", croons Dee Dee as the guitar erupts on opener Mine Tonight. More direct are the bleak opening thoughts of I Got Nothing: "What can I do / Without You / I feel nothing". On that last EP the Dum Dum Girls attempted a cover of The Smiths tune There Is A Light That Never Goes Out. For my money it's hard to beat The Smiths doing that. This time round they've borrowed Trees And Flowers by new wavers Strawberry Switchblade. Lyrically it's a candid admission of agoraphobia, but where the original was a touch twee and throwaway, the Dum Dum Girls craft a thing of sparse, brittle beauty that echoes with what sounds like very real fear of being trapped in a world that no-one else can share. I find it very moving and, to me, it is the quiet heart of this EP. Any more heartbreaking and I'd have been reaching for the razor blades, so very fortunately the emotional arc of End Of Daze heads for warmer, happier climes on it's closing half. It loses none of it's power in doing so, Lord Knows is a brilliantly Joan Jett referencing rocker. The positively upbeat Season In Hell completes the journey: "Doesn't the dawn look divine", one that I'm very happy to have taken. Dum Dum Girls grow more complex and interesting with each passing record. Garage and retro-pop swirl around with dark country, dream-pop and shoegaze making songs and records that are uniformly exciting.
- Chris Cobcroft.