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Dum Dum Girls

Too True



Dum Dum Girls were in danger of getting repetitive, and the sun was in danger of getting kind of hot. When I first heard "It Only Takes One Night," the band's numbed, reverberating pop sounded like the early '60s drowning in a swimming pool, and I liked it. Then I heard it again and again, through two albums' worth of variations, and I became concerned.

Kristin Welchez (alias Dee Dee Penny) evidently got concerned, too. On "Evil Blooms," the second track of her daring new LP Too True, she sings "Why be good? Be beautiful and sad;/ it's all you've ever had." There's a bitter defiance at work there, and Welchez mines it to satisfying effect on the rest of the album.

Too True retains all the stylistic hallmarks of earlier Dum Dum Girls except for the narrow composition. It is less reverb pop and more new wave, bearing the same resemblance to the previous two albums as Siouxsie and the Banshees bore to the Ramones. It still sounds blown-out and dirty, but it is lyrically and tonally more sophisticated in a way that acknowledges the wider world rather than building a bubble within it. Hardcore fans may be disappointed, but they will also get a breath of fresh air.

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