A reverence for pop music's rich history has been evident in everything that Los Angeles quartet Dum Dum Girls have done since their inception in 2008. The brainchild of lead singer and songwriter Dee Dee Penny, Dum Dum Girls have always been about culling the best bits from some of Rock and Pop's coolest reference points of the last fifty years. So we get the sixties sugar rush of the Ronettes/Darlene Love mixed in with the punk attitude of the Ramones and a dash of the Velvet Underground filtered through the Jesus and Mary Chain for good measure. Allied to a strong visual image and the undoubted charisma of their front woman, it's easy to see why the music scene sat up and took notice when they first emerged.
With third album Too True, Dum Dum Girls add very little to the mix other than a slicker, shinier surface - this is undoubtedly their biggest sounding album to date; production values have gone up a notch or two but there is a blandness to much of this generic guitar pop that renders it pretty forgettable.
Comparisons with fellow Rock/Pop historians the Raveonettes are valid – both mine similar territory but the Raveonettes push their sound to greater extremes – Too True plays it safe, trading any kind of edge for a cleaned up, radio friendly, bloodless version of how they used to sound.
The mawkish 'Are You Ok' and the unremarkable 'Too True To Be Good' are symptomatic of an album that never really delivers any peaks, settling for a solid middle ground throughout. 'Lost Boys & Girls Club' adds a little welcome scuzzy darkness while opener 'Cult of Love' briefly threatens to generate a smidgeon of excitement but the overall impression is one of disappointment.
With Too True, Dum Dum Girls continue to raid Rock and Pop's past for inspiration but it is hard to escape the conclusion that each successive raid is yielding less and less returns.
Review by Paul Page