Dum Dum Girls Break Out of Their Surf-Pop Formula — Barely — at Great American Music Hall

Dum Dum Girls


Oct. 4, 2011

Great American Music Hall

Better than: Best Coast — sometimes, anyway.

The problem with reverb-drenched, girl-group-derived, shoegaze-descended guitar pop is that it's as limited as a vegan's view of bacon. You get a monolithic merseybeat, two or three spanky chords, an off-the-shelf chorus melody, and little else. The most interesting variables left are lyrical content (don't get your hopes up) and the band's outfits.

While a few of these songs go down fine — sometimes more than fine — after a while, the formula turns into a grind. The persistent drumbeat becomes an unheard piece of sonic furniture. The memory of one chorus hook fades into the last. The constant tempo gets to be as exciting as a slab of plain tofu.

Similar to Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls play mostly surf-gaze guitar pop, and they do it about as well as anyone around. But it shouldn't be surprising that last night at Great American Music Hall, Dum Dum Girls were at their best when they weren't doing what it is they mainly do.

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