Dum Dum Girls
He Gets Me High


3.5
great

Review

by Conrad Tao EMERITUS
March 12th, 2011 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dum Dum Girls continue to mark their territory, recording an excellent Smiths cover in the process.

Dum Dum Girls' debut, I Will Be, was a highly enjoyable record, but it was also the type of album that you were reluctant to tell people that you loved, the type of album that was difficult to objectively enjoy. Its simple songwriting and sparse production worked well on exciting and taut songs like "Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout" but hampered tracks like "It Only Takes One Night" that seemed to end as soon as they began. These fundamental shortcomings made it difficult to rebuke criticisms that the positive press that the band was receiving from (the still largely male-driven) indie-rock press was primarily a result of their being four attractive women. So when "He Gets Me High", the title track off of the band's new short and sweet four-song EP, started making the rounds online, I was thrilled to hear a much more fully-fleshed sound than the one found on the band's debut. Immediately resembling a more robust "Bhang Bhang", the song is an appealingly loose jam that isn't terribly far removed from the sentiments that Bethany Cosentino is so content to perpetually dwell in. Except that instead of just singing, "When you leave me / you take away everything / you take all my money / you take all my weed," frontwoman Kristin "Dee Dee" Gundred is actually injecting a little bit of subtlety into the proceedings: "I put so much into your smile / it gets me by / it gets me high." It's just as blunt as Cosentino's weed-and-boys lyrics, but it somehow feels more weighty and less insufferably self-entitled - and, for the record, I actually liked most of Crazy For You.

The rest of the EP is almost as solid, with opener "Wrong Feels Right" effectively taking the formula laid out by "He Gets Me High" and giving it a shot of adrenaline via some seriously excellent drumming. More importantly, however, He Gets Me High displays the band's willingness to expand its sound into territory that, for them, is mostly unexplored. "Take Care Of My Baby" is a bit too soggy to be really touching, but Dee Dee's vocal delivery is almost convincing enough to make irritably starry-eyed lines like "I would watch as you were sleeping / to make sure you were still breathing" tolerable. And while the longing chorus is a tad bit overly sentimental, it still has an undeniable appeal. The cover of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" that closes the EP is just the cherry on top, a truly inventive take on a song that really doesn't need any more covers, or any more nauseatingly lovey-dovey movie scenes of two people establishing a hate-fucking relationship after discovering their mutual love for the Smiths. Yet Dee Dee's delivery of that immortal line - "if a double decker bus crashes into us / to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die" - is so winning, so inherently likable, that it's actually possible to forget about all of that irrelevant bullshit. And that deserves plenty of praise. So while He Gets Me High is ultimately too slight to really be that substantial, it's an impressive leap forward that effectively and efficiently proves that there's much, much more to the Dum Dum Girls than merely sex appeal.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
conradtao
Emeritus
March 12th 2011


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Conrad reviews another indie pop record, world dies from shock

banged this out on a plane today, hope it reads well!

DoubtGin
March 12th 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this. Wish they'd cut out "Take Care of My Baby", though. They do the "rocking" songs much better.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2011


16455 Comments


im interested in hearing the cover of the smiths

Digging: Zella Day - Zella Day

outline
March 12th 2011


563 Comments


The cover's great, although not as good as Anberlin's.

letsgofishing
March 12th 2011


903 Comments


"Dee's delivery of that immortal line - "if a double decker bus crashes into us / to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die" - is so winning"

somebodies been watching way too much Charlie Sheen....

conradtao
Emeritus
March 12th 2011


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ooh cool, a feature!!

also, letsgofishing, i hope you're joking

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 13th 2011


10614 Comments


Bangin' job, bud! Sounds like something I could get behind for this hellish week that is FINALS!

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

tkxxx7
March 13th 2011


6153 Comments


not normally my kinda thing but I will listen

Hep Kat
March 13th 2011


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

cool lil album

Tyrael
March 13th 2011


20904 Comments


Another awesome review Conrad.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2011


7363 Comments


Enjoyed the Smiths cover, not a patch on the original though, obviously.

I might listen to the rest of this sometime.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2011


7312 Comments


Oh hey I didn't know this had a review as well.



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