Dum Dum Girls- End Of Daze [EP]- Sub Pop Records 2012
I fell in love with the Dum Dum Girls a few years ago at a CMJ showcase I went to during college. I watched their set and the whole time I kept thinking how much I wanted this band to do great things. and indeed they have, at least as far as the college radio community is concerned. With records holding the number 1 spot on the Radio 200 chart for weeks on end and plenty of great reviews, it’s clear that the Dum Dum Girls are just getting started. The main songwriter and lead singer Dee Dee pens genuine pop songs that only get better with each record that they put out.
“Mine Tonight” is slow with a heavy guitar to start things off. I love the vocal effects that are used for this band- the reverb sounds a little different on each record, and live as well, but it’s a similarity that gives the Dum Dum Girls their own unique sound. There are plenty of dreamy synthesizers to be heard, and the guitars are given generous room in the mix, giving the record a really huge sound.
“I Got Nothing” is lead by a really snappy-sounding snare beat and bass. It’s actually sort of simple in its orchestration, but this allows for Dee Dee’s vocals to shine and sound especially strong.
“Trees And Flowers” is a cover of a 1983 single by the Scottish pop punk girls Strawberry Switchblade. I checked out the original because I was only familiar with this band by their name. The Dum Dum Girls not only do it justice, but put a totally awesome, atmospheric spin on it. They don’t play tons of covers, but the ones that they do, the Dum Dum Girls really nail. “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” by the Smiths from the He Gets Me High EP and their rendition of the Misfits’ “Last Caress” are my two favorites.
I appreciate how hard-working this band is. They’ve got 2 full length records under their belt since forming in 2008, but they’ve also put out a few EPs and singles to keep things interesting in between. End Of Daze is more than a taste of the good things to come, it feels more like a short burst of energy that stands out in its own right.
Heart Of Darkness- Magic Hat Brewing Company- Burlington, VT
I like Magic Hat because they create some very accessible craft beers. Their seasonals are generally solid, tasty brews. I drank their winter offering, a take on one of my favorite styles, the oatmeal stout, with this EP yesterday evening. I enjoyed this brew straight out of the bottle, so I can’t really comment on the pour. The taste was surprising to me. I expected it to be sweeter than it was, and I got some smoky notes on the finish. Almost a little fruity as well. Lots of bittersweet dark chocolate. In addition to this record, it also happens to pair well with dark chocolate cheesecake. I love when I unexpectedly get cake with my beer. Definitely a very good offering from Magic Hat, and I imagine that it should be fairly easy to find on draft at your local bar, so get out there and try it!
While the Dum Dum Girls create a lot of wonderful pop songs, there are a lot of different elements at play in each of their records. Yes, a light ale or IPA would fare well with the pop records here. But firstly, the weather is getting cold, and the time for stouts is upon us. This particular stout has a lot going on with it, as does this EP. Since it’s a short record, I wouldn’t want to drink a really massive beer with it, but Heart Of Darkness is just right. You need something with body, but something that will be okay to finish in 5 songs.
As I mentioned earlier, the Dum Dum Girls are starting to get pretty big. I think Magic Hat is a good brewing company to pair with them, because they are one company that has helped craft beers gain more of a presence and importance. I will always associate craft beer and independent music, so what better pairing than a record from an incredibly influential indie label like Sub Pop with a massively growing craft brewing company?