In a sea of beach pop bands one can get overwhelmed. Thank god for raw, edgy, and innovative bands that take this genre from fun and breezy and turn it into an “in your face” force to be reckoned with. California natives Dum Dum Girls are one of these bands. Their new EP He Gets Me High is a short four-track creation that is energetic, sassy, and unbelievably catchy.
Without wasting a moment they dive right into things. With rapid, pulsating drum beats the first track “Wrong Feels Right” takes off flying. It’s a catchy pop tune brimming with well constructed sound. The hazy guitar chords melt perfectly with passionate vocals and create the feeling of a risky summer night. Taking no time for a breather, “He Gets Me High” speeds into action. The band maintains their fuzzy and distorted sound as they create a more alluring and sensual track. Lost in a fog, Dee Dee melodically cries for the love that, well, gets her high.
With a touch of the 1960s and a melancholy vibe comes the track “Take Care of My Baby.” Dee Dee’s vocals are mournful and haunting as she sings, “Take care of my baby/I don’t think he can do it himself.” Crooning “oohs” and “ahs” fill the background while the sound of a solo tambourine echoes in the distance. It is a beautifully dark and dramatic track filled with longing and finality.
They end with an excellent cover of The Smiths’ “There Is a Light.” Forceful, mysterious, and thoroughly enjoyable, they do great justice to the track. The band comes together harmoniously and manages to not only retain much of the original’s charm, but also take the track out of the 1980s and plant it firmly in the 21st century with a fresh and exciting sound.
He Gets Me High is wonderful. It is 13 and a half minutes of pure enjoyment. Wavering buzz saw guitar riffs, creative percussion chords, hazy vocals, and retro inspirations collide to create an EP with a lot to offer. There is undoubtedly great anticipation for what this group will do next. The only thing disappointing about this album is that it ends far too soon.
(Sub Pop Records, 2013 Fourth Avenue, Third Floor, Seattle, WA 98121)