Like the bullets, you’ll hit the floor
Music is a mirror reflecting the inner complexities of the musician who brought it to life. In the case of the Dum Dum Girls, it is a tunnel, leading to a cave where deeper and darker memories morph into enraged guitar riffs, emotionally loaded lyrics, and explosive rhythms echoing as if recorded in a garage.
The path of the American all-female foursome is jam-packed with the vicissitudes experienced by their front woman, songwriter and lead vocalist Kristin Gundred – who is known as Dee Dee. The mood and tempo of each of the band’s EPs or albums is pegged to the Berkeley native’s mood-swings and hardships.
I will be (2010), Dum Dum’s first studio album, was heavily influenced by Gundred’s bereavement when she lost her mother to cancer. Restless and powerless, Dee Dee ushered in a lo-fi powerhouse of angry rhythms, resounding guitars and fast-paced singing. It is simply in her character.
“I like it when skies are grey, when it rains, when things change and you have to adapt from one day to the next,” she told French magazine Les Inrockuptibles back in 2010. “I hate it when life is static.”
But not even the strongest minds can keep up that kind of tempo forever and, as the touring increased and distance grew between Gundred and her loved ones, the tone of Dum Dum’s music shifted. The restlessness simmered down and the anger faded as melancholic lyrics took over on the band’s second album, Only In Dreams (2011).
In it, the garagesque echo that long hid the depth of Dee Dee’s lyrics gave way to the singer’s unhindered vocal talent, free of the rhythmic shackles that once impeded it from fully expressing her emotional distress.
However, the eased tone of this new opus has not deterred the band away from its original mission: delivering the darkest possible noise pop, often bordering on the punk rock that so heavily influences Gundred. The mere name of her band, after all, is a portmanteau of alternative rock band The Vaselines’ album Dum Dum, and Iggy Pop’s ‘Dum Dum Boys’ song. It is in the band’s DNA to strive for the noisy and intense, despite the newly-soothed intonation they have adopted.
Dum Dum’s latest EP, End of Daze (2012), clearly reflects this paradox – one that will surely make for a splendid performance in the darker, almost intimate ambience of the Lille Vega concert hall.
“Our music is better expressed in a dark, almost underground kind of location”, Dee Dee told the media at the Lollapalooza Festival early this month. Punk rock purists and noisy riffs lovers, you are in for a treat.
The Dum Dum Girls
Enghavevej 40, Cph V
Monday 20:00; Tickets 340kr