Fun Fun Fun Live Shot: Dum Dum Girls
New Yorkers punch out unflappable cool
By Scott Schinder,
9:53AM, Mon. Nov. 10, 2014
Dum Dum Girls’ six-year evolution has seen the band progress from lo-fi home recording project to state-of-the-art studio outfit, with leader/sole charter member Dee Dee Penny’s melodically arresting songs and aching, emotive voice as the common threads.
The project’s increasingly formal direction yields mixed results on the current Too True, virtually a Dee Dee solo effort, whose gauzy, claustrophobic production often feels at odds with her compositions’ openhearted appeal.
The songs had a chance to breathe during the band’s Fun Fun Fun set on Sunday, in which Dee Dee and her three-woman, one-dude live lineup (none of whom play on Too True) imbued “Cult of Love,” “Rimbaud Eyes,” and “Lost Boys and Girls Club” with the warmth and swagger that’s lacking in their overly clinical recorded incarnations. The material was elevated by Dee Dee’s increasingly confident stage presence, her band’s scrappy, forceful playing, and the surging harmonies of guitarist Jules Medeiros, bassist Malia James, and drummer Sandy Vu.
Exuding unflappable cool throughout the brisk 50-minute set, the band outlasted the muddy sound that marred the first couple of numbers and grew looser and more assured as the performance progressed. While Too True tunes carried the emotional punch and melodic uplift that are Dum Dum Girls’ dual calling cards, old favorites “It Only Takes One Night” and “I Got Nothing” brought the set home in effortlessly majestic style.