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He Gets Me High
Dum Dum Girls He Gets Me High
Released 25 February 2011

Richard Gotteher,
Sune Rose Wagner
Label Sub Pop
Length 13:42
Genre Indie pop
Website wearedumdumgirls.com

Imagine the time warp scenario if The Shirelles were sitting on a sofa sipping vodka martinis and The Jesus And Mary Chain came on the telly. This being fantasy they’d dash their beverages against the wall, strap on a buzzsaw guitar, amp up the feedback and join a band like Dum Dum Girls.

Formed by lo-fi scenester Dee Dee in California late 2008, the new girl band on the block teamed up with Raveonattes’ producer Richard Gotteher to record I Will Be early last year. Released to general acclaim, it followed new wave punk lines with sixties girl pop battling against buzzsaw guitar. The new EP He Gets Me High, which I presume will be followed by an album later in the year, is cut from the same cloth as its predecessor.

In the light of other indie girl bands, like Warpaint in recent times and from the not too distant past like Sleater-Kinney, there is not much innovation here from Dum Dum Girls. You either like the sound or not. When it is pulled off it can produce a euphoric rush in the listener. This is what this EP attempts to do. The opener 'Wrong Feels Right' finds lead singer Dee Dee in glorious lovelorn mode. She looks and sounds like Polly Jean Harvey circa Stories from the City. This is only a good thing from a musical and hot blooded male perspective. But in all seriousness the song sparkles with chiming guitars and the drums thump, crunch and skip beats next to the warm glow of the vocals.

"Dream away the realness of the day"

The shiny texture of the eponymous track soaks in a swirl of mid eighties distorted guitars. It’s a good time song about the dizzy rapture of being in love. The perfect pop song writing abilities of Dee Dee and the girls come to the fore and are in tandem with the sensibilities of Gotteher who is most known for writing sixties hits like 'My Boyfriend's Back' and 'I Want Candy'.

The bittersweet romance of the Spector driven pop is emphasised on the third number 'Take Care of my Baby' which even in its title wouldn’t go amiss amongst the Wall Of Sound catalogue. Again Dee Dee is swooning and dreamy in her delivery as the guitars sway in a cathedral shimmer and the tambourine shakes out a lonesome rhythm. This is a definite departure from the aggressive tones on the debut album. There is a languid melancholy from the singer which elevates the track towards torch song par excellence region.

Closing the EP is a charmingly fast take on The Smiths classic 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out'. It doesn’t deviate much from the original but is sound in its execution. The vocals rush along as the percussion trashes out a beat with the guitars screeching in the background. If anything it probably plays it too safe but it’s the obligatory cover at the end of a single so who can complain?

If modern access to music has done one thing it is forced bands releasing EPs to consider the whole package as Mini-albums rather than the single and some filler. In its sublime twist of new wave punk and sixties girl group panache, He Gets Me High delivers on the whole package. And then some.

- Tim Gannon