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With the Dum Dum Girls release of their fourth EP, End of Daze, the girls amp up their dream-pop sound with a little more dream and a little less pop.
As a follow-up to 2011’s Only in Dreams, the EP samples a group of songs that were originally recorded for last year’s full length release but were deemed too “atmospheric” to make it on the record. And atmospheric certainly seems like an accurate depiction of this record. Complete with Dee Dee’s breathy, almost hallucinogenic vocals accompanied by distorted, noise pop instrumentals the record will you leave you wondering exactly which atmosphere you’ve fallen into, in the best way possible.
End of Daze takes on an introspective quality that can only be found in the tendrils of dreams, a sound that is partially shoegaze, partially haunting reverberated vocals and all tied together with creative musicianship.
“Mine Tonight” starts off the EP as a rhythm driven track with haunting lead and vocal harmonies. Surrounded by the chime of electric guitar and subtle xylophone accents, Dee Dee’s vocals float in and out of the swell of a full and dreamy instrumental backing.
“I Got Nothing” is a lo-fi and lovely lament with simple thrumping percussion that rings with the tinny effect of being played by street musicians on flipped metal trashcans. Again, with a heavier focus on driving bass lines during the verse, the rhythm is then drowned down into the fuzzy and reverb-laden guitar chords and echoing vocals of the chorus: “I got nothing left to say from this day on.”
The group also takes on a cover of Strawberry Switchblade’s “Trees and Flowers”, a song originally intended to accompany “Bedroom Eyes” on an unreleased 7” single. Slowing the tempo a bit from the original, the Dum Dum Girls float through this cover with a warm and tinkling guitar sound throughout. The band also choosing to strip a lot of the original instrumentals down to just sliding guitar licks with a much heavier focus on the lingering and powerful vocals both in volume and in presence within the tune, fading out the ending as eerily as the song began.
“Lord Knows” takes on a sound that is all slow pace and hollow drum beats. Complete with notable cymbals, droning backing vocals, as well as airy harmonies, this song sways like the ins and outs of the tide. Instrumentals swell through hovering vocals, and guitar chords resonate with a stripped sound, as if the Dum Dum Girls decided to forgo the amplifiers for a more peaceful vibe that weaves in and out of the calming sounds of this song. Almost as resigned as the song’s lyrics this song is a lullaby worth staying awake for.
“Season in Hell” finishes out the record featuring a sound that is both familiar and welcomed with a much more upbeat poppy percussion tempo and bass line. Dropping the subtle tambourine accent along with distorted guitar licks and a surf pop tone this song serves as the EP’s more serious fun song.
For only five tracks End of Daze is full of emotive quality, seductive vocals and ethereal instrumentals. Don’t let the short track list fool you, because this EP is definitely packing.