LIVE REVIEW: Dum Dum Girls @ Bottom of the Hill 6/30/10
Music fans have always loved a good girl group. From the Supremes to The Runaways, and especially in the days of punk and grunge with Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Go-Gos, X-Ray Spex, Bikini Kill and Sleater Kinney. Following in their predecessors sultry, sassy footsteps are Dum Dum Girls who packed the house at Bottom of the Hill Wednesday night ultimately showing that Rock and Roll is still alive and sexy.
The night wasn’t all estrogen, however. DDG shared the bill with former two-piece Crocodiles. The last two times I saw Crocodiles it was just two dudes, and I always kind of thought they would sound so much better with a drummer. Well, they must have heard my cries because they showed up at Bottom of the Hill with a full band. Not only with an added drummer, but an extra guitar and keyboardist. As they say though, be careful what you wish for. With that much noise going on, Crocodiles’ signature lo-fi, minimalist sound was sort of mashed. It was a bit too chaotic at times, drowning out the vocals and making it confusing as to what song was actually being played. It wasn’t all bad though, they hammered out a great set of distorted, sonic rock that would have made Thurston Moore proud. Perhaps they just need a bit more practice playing as a 5-piece.
The Dum Dum Girls took the stage quickly after, and launched right into their routine. The four young ladies have a pretty unique sound in that it lies some where between ’80s riot girl punk and ’60s girl group doo-wop. It’s a little slow for punk, and over-aggressive for doo-wop. They personify this anomaly on stage too, sometimes glaring intensely at the crowd through their screeching, and sometimes bobbing their heads and dancing in unison. The songs are catchy and poppy, buried under a thick layer of distortion and attitude. Lead singer Dee Dee’s voice is much deeper and a bit raspier in person adding a nice dark, grungy layer to the band’s sound.
Dum Dum Girls have a few more date together in the US, and then it’s off to Europe. Now’s your chance to see them in a small venue because after this tour they’re hooking up with Vampire Weekend for a string of shows followed by an early Fall tour supporting MGMT. So, in short, go see them now.