Dum Dum Girls at Schine Underground, October 11th

The Dum Dum Girls are a band whose genre cannot be defined in a simple manner. When describing the group, fans of the Dum Dum Girls often use phrases like “dream pop,” “noise pop,” or “chill wave.” They use phrases that aren’t necessarily found on the iTunes “Music Categories” tab.

This precise characterization associated with the Dum Dum Girls is a result of the band’s effort to create a musical style of their own, one that strays in the opposite direction of today’s exclusively female pop groups. In doing so, Dee Dee, Jules, Sandy, and Malia have pinpointed exactly how they want to present themselves, and on Thursday, October 11, this presentation was put on display at Syracuse University’s Schine Underground.

Introducing themselves in lace tops and skirts significantly shorter form a proportional perspective than their complimentary tights, the Dum Dum Girls spoke first with “Mine Tonight,’” the opening track of their recently released EP, End of Daze.

As their set progressed, the Girls continued to emphasize End of Daze, playing four of the EP’s five songs that earned the band “Best New Music” recognition from Pitchfork and a spot on this year’s CMJ lineup in New York City.

Tracks from their two full-length albums, “I Will Be” and “Only in Dreams”, appeared in the eclectically put together set as well, along with the title track from 2011’s He Gets Me High.

Throughout the show, the Dum Dum Girls also committed to communicating primarily through their music, deviating from any pre-song banter with the crowd. While many musicians take some type of conversational approach in an effort to connect with their audience, The Dum Dum Girls exhibited no such strategy. This lack of dialogue, however, by no means correlated with a disconnected audience. The venue’s guests found themselves dancing with the set’s more upbeat songs, driven by a snare drum that created a rhythmic version of sounds not unlike those of gunfire.

The band’s mellower songs reflected lead-singer Kristen Gundred’s (A.K.A. Dee Dee) angelic stage presence. Standing out as the lone “Dum” blond, Gundred exemplified both a seraphic appearance and vocal ability. Her ethereal nature, however, fittingly contrasted with her punk-rock attitude.

The Dum Dum Girls’ commitment to epitomizing rock lasted their entire set and peaked as they transitioned into their final song, covering the Smiths’ “There is a Light that Never Goes Out.” The Girls showed no fear in presenting one of Morrissey’s most popular songs to a surely Smiths-savvy crowd.

This type of audacious behavior has resulted in burgeoning success for the Dum Dum Girls, putting Dee Dee and company exactly where they want to be.

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