The early days of Dum Dum Girls were characterized by the fuzz and driving tempos of garage rock. Over the years, though, Dee Dee Penny has carefully steered the sound in a more polished, glam direction. Too True shows her feeling more comfortable with the change than ever.
In the place of gritty guitar effects, it’s all glossed over in a shimmering haze. Her voice, too, seems like it’s been softened. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s a notable difference when you stack it next to anything on the He Gets Me High EP from 2011. The new delivery is as sultry as ever, but more demure, relatively speaking.
Perhaps as a result of that, the lyrics on Too True don’t jump out or ring as poignant. Short of the occasional gut punch, like “Why be good? / Be beautiful and sad / It’s all you’ve ever had,” there’s a lot of repetition.
Songs like “In The Wake Of You” make you wish the tempo would pick up more often. Most of Too True glides along at a dreamy pace. It’s frustrating because you feel like they could do more. The songs are so carefully crafted and beautiful, but it’s like the full potential of the new sound isn’t being explored. Then again, “Lost Boys And Girls Club” might be a slow jam, but it’s also a stunner.
That said, it’s great to hear the Dum Dum Girls finally commit to this glammy sound. It’s a quietly grand rebirth.