[27 September 2012]
No modern artist has matched the sonic pulchritude of the classic 4AD roster quite like Dee Dee and her Dum Dum Girls. Though 2010’s I Will Be drew comparisons to Phil Spector’s ‘60s girl groups more so than the swirling end times dream pop that Ivo Watts-Russell cultivated, last autumn’s wondrous and infrequently devastating Only in Dreams smudged their gauzy sound into the margins and added some considerable heft. No mere perfunctory stopgap, End of Daze sees the band further venturing into the beauteous bleakness with five distressing cuts.
By now, nobody familiar with the band should be alarmed by their gothic influences. Rose McDowall, who went on to do fabulous work with the apocalyptic likes of Current 93 and Death in June, would no doubt enjoy the somber, beat-less cover of her early band Strawberry Switchblade’s “Trees and Flowers”. The bipolar originals, two of which were recorded immediately following the Only in Dreams sessions, vacillate between wistful pep and downward-spiraling lethargy. “I Got Nothing” and standout cut “Lord Knows” hopefully have a home on David Lynch’s Zune, given the obvious psychic lineage with the auteur’s soul-damaging work with Julee Cruise. By the time doomy contemplative closer “Season in Hell” rolls in, one would almost giddily welcome and embrace Armageddon.