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Dum Dum Girls, ‘Lord Knows’ – Song Review

'Lord Only Knows'
Sub Pop

Two full-length albums and a quartet of EPs in, and the Dum Dum Girls are as hip as ever. First bursting onto the scene as Kristin Gundred’s (aka Dee Dee) solo project with a five-song CDR on her own label, Zoo Music, back in 2008, she signed on with Sub Pop the following year and soon recruited a backing band to fill out her sound in time to issue a debut full-length album, ‘I Will Be,’ in 2010.

That disc earned rave reviews for its meshing of influences — lo-fi bubblegum pop mixed with a fierce, fuzzed-out riot grrrl assault — and the skilled composition of Richard Gottehrer, the legendary writer of ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’ and seminal producer behind groups like the Go-Go’s and Blondie. A slew of art-damaged videos, high-profile magazine spreads and tours with the likes of Vampire Weekend and Beach House followed.

Last year’s ‘Only in Dreams’ found the Girls adding new influences (Mazzy Starr, the Replacements) and taking a decidedly hi-fi approach (“It’s cool to record in [an] actual studio and use real mics,” Dee Dee boasted) — and the results were a step in the direction of blissed out dream pop. So, where does that leave ‘Lord Knows,’ the first single of the band’s latest EP, ‘End of Daze?’

A little bit more of the same. It looks like the Dum Dums have forever said goodbye to four-track production values, and their compositions are certainly more complex than the pop-punk ditties of past. Subtly aping the chords of the ’60s classic ‘Crimson and Clover’ by Tommy James and the Shondells, ‘Lord Knows’ has a bit of a retro garage feel to it, but one that’s filtered through the reverb-drenched lens of a band finally learning a history lesson about an oft-forgotten little genre known as shoegaze.

Listen to the Dum Dum Girls, ‘Lord Knows’

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7 out of 10 rating

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