On Dum Dum Girls’ debut, the band channels ’60s girl groups with innocent lyrics about hand-holding and first kisses.
Pretty tunes and melodramatic lyrics like these would normally require a suspension of disbelief when delivered by a group of badass-looking vamps in tight black dresses, but lead singer Dee Dee, aka Kristin Gundred of now-defunct Grand Ole Party, imparts the teenybopper lines with spot-on deadpan. Several of the waltzy tracks on I Will Be could even—coincidentally—pass as contemporary versions of “The Dum Dum Ditty” by the Shangri-Las. So it’s no surprise that the album was produced by Richard Gottehrer, the guy behind “My Boyfriend’s Back” and albums from Blondie and the Go-Go’s. But the most unifying element of Dum Dum Girls’ image and sound is the band’s ardently fuzzy lo-fi production. With simple melodies and steady, unadorned drums, the band oscillates between ethereal Beach Boys–like harmonies and the snotty attitude of the Slits—quite a winning combo.