Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dum Dum Girls

He Gets Me High (2011)

Sub Pop

Less than a year after their solid debut I Will Be, Dum Dum Girls show marked improvement on their new EP, He Gets Me High. At just four songs, the release plays to the Girls' strengths–dissonant guitars, cooing vocals and lovelorn lyrics–while avoiding the tedium of repetition that accompanied I Will Be.

The first two tracks, "Wrong Feels Right" and "He Gets Me High" can and should be singles. They're tightly wound love songs with a garage rock bent. The biggest changes in Dum Dum Girls' sound come in clarity and confidence. The tracks are mixed better, burning off any lingering lo-fi inclinations. But while murky atmosphere was part of the Girls' charm, He Gets Me High benefits from better recording quality. The drums sound thunderous, the guitars roar, the vocals soar and the low end is mighty fine. On these first two tracks, at least, He Gets Me High is perfect.

I'm of two minds on track three, "Take Care of My Baby". It's a well-placed ballad that dials down the energy before rocketing it back up for track four, a cover of the Smiths' "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out". But it's such a hazy, indistinct trifle that takes four minutes to resolve itself. That Smiths cover recovers nicely, though. Structurally, it's not too different from the original–just louder. But the group adds some nice twists, contrasting '60s girl group harmonies with guitar squalls and adding a new, otherworldly guitar part.

Whether or not the group can sustain this kind of invention on their next full-length, due later this year, is still uncertain. But He Gets Me High circumvents any hipster backlash by bettering I Will Be in every way. Definitely recommended for fans of the Raveonettes.