The Dum Dum Girls are not screwing around. The End of Daze EP is five tracks of confidence, and it’s not a misguided swagger.
In less than 20 minutes — less time than it takes some bands to describe what they’re doing on a record — the Dum Dum Girls hand us guitar-driven pop rock, slow-burning ballads and a rumbling anthem. They stuck with the more polished production that emerged on the even shorter 2011 EP, He Gets Me High, but there’s still a hint of the garage rock influence. The guitars aren’t lost in an all-out fuzz, but there’s still a satisfying helping of fuzz and distortion.
Lead singer Dee Dee Penny sounds simultaneously detached and completely invested. Her voice is the “I don’t care” of someone who really cares. It might be due to the fact that tone is darker this time around. She breathily repeats “I feel nothin” on “I Got Nothing,” and on “Trees and Flowers,” she sings, strong yet ghostly, “I hate the trees and I hate the flowers / And I hate the buildings, the way they tower over me.”
The lead-off single, “Lord Knows,” has the same gorgeously sung angst, but Dum Dum Girls won’t let the EP drift away on that note. “Season in Hell” is a real kicker, declaring “it’s the end of days” over a hard-driving rhythm on the kit and grand guitar riffs. As the last chord trails off, you half expect to hear the mic drop.