As fetching as Dum Dum Girls’ reverb-soaked retro noise pop can be, it’s hard not to admit that the all-female four-piece doesn’t exactly trade in innovative or ambitious music. Yet that’s what’s appealing about the Girls, after all, as they give fans of ‘60s-by-way-of-the-‘80s indie fuzz the precise hazy/hooky sonic fix they are looking for. Such wanton unoriginality is usually forgivable if the songs pack enough melodic charms (as they did on last year’s Sub Pop full-length I Will Be), and singer Dee Dee Penny certainly has better pipes than many of her like-minded peers. Unfortunately, here Dum Dum Girls make the fatal mistake of covering the Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”, which even in this (ahem) dumbed-down strum-along rendition overshadows the original material by virtue of being a far more accomplished composition. In comparison, the repetitive vocal phrasings and routine chord changes of this disc’s three self-penned tunes just don’t cut it. No matter how sweet blink-or-you’ll-miss-‘em offerings “Wrong Feels Right” and the title track are at points (especially during the pre-choruses), He Gets Me High ultimately proves to be empty calories.
// Notes from the Road
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