The Dum Dum Girls’ new album Too True was meant to be the band’s official transition into the world of high-label girl group Rock ‘n’ Roll fame. However, it clearly flows from the same vein as their previous work, making for an ethereal-sounding album that directly harkens back to girl group greats of the ’60s and post-punk beats of the ’80s.
While it may not have been the transformative album the group was hoping for, Too True still holds its own in today’s pop-rock genre. Sleek guitar riffs meld smoothly with lead singer Dee Dee Penny’s eerily calm vocals and poetic lyrics. The standout track of the album is “Rimbaud Eyes,” directly inspired by French poet Arthur Rimbaud, which displays the bands signature fast beat tracks on metaphor-laden lyrics with a gloomy overcast.
The beauty of the album is Penny’s ability to address somber lyrical themes like heartache, betrayal, and death in a calm, steady manner. The near-title track “Too True To Be Good” expresses this concept perfectly as Dee Dee breathlessly moans “I’ve tried to remind myself it’s gonna be fine/[…]/ it’s hard to outrun/ the devil from behind” over a sugar-sweet drum beat.
The album contains a form of micro-variety—while the same narcotic fuzz and Dee Dee’s eerie vocal inflections link each song, clear distinctions form from track to track. For instance, a new wave momentum drives “Little Minx” while “Under These Hands” contains a folk-rock foundation. Heavily influenced by past sounds while still maintaining a fresh punk vibe, Too True is just daring enough to reel you in and mesmerizing enough to keep you listening.