Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Feb 22nd 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
Luckily, with the Dum Dum Girls, such frigidness is part of the fun. Wearing black dresses and blank expressions, the all-girl quartet came on like a cold snap, blowing through a dozen tunes in 35 minutes.
The brevity was fitting, given the Girls' post-apocalyptic brand of '60s pop. Their songs are built on scratchy fuzz-box guitars, Ronettes drumbeats and disorienting levels of vocal reverb -- elements that work best in two-minute intervals.
However short, the performance succeeded in answering a question few would have thought to ask: What if the Bangles and the Cure had mated in 1982?
On such songs as 'Yours Alone' and 'I Will Be,' the title track from the Girls' recently released Sub Pop debut, group mastermind Dee Dee sang and played guitar like a Goth-rock Susanna Hoffs. Even when she tried to be friendly and apologize for her guitar's unwillingness to stay in tune, the upstart rocker exuded businesslike intensity.
"I figured you'd rather me play it right than play it quickly," she said, having just spent a minute twisting her tuning pegs.
The other band members were equally intimidating. Guitarist Jules and drummer Frankie Rose -- the former Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts timekeeper who opened the show fronting a band of her own, the Outs -- glowered as they sang ghostly harmonies. Redheaded bassist Bambi, meanwhile, sulked in the corner, content to let her hair color ruin the band's monochromatic palette.
The Girls closed with 'Rest of Our Lives,' which Dee Dee dedicated to a friend who "just got hitched." One of the night's few ballads, the tune was both tender and menacing: a three-minute distillation of the Dum Dum Girls sound.