Only in Dreams

The Dum Dum Girls' 2010 debut, I Will Be, was girl-group rock cut with low-fi guitar frizz. This disc is all hi-fi, sonically and emotionally, piling on Phil Spector echo and Go-Go's gloss as singer-guitarist Dee Dee Penny mourns a faraway lover and a fatally sick mom: "Death is on the telephone/I lie and say she isn't home," she sings, somewhere between the Shangri-Las and Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. The six-minute "Coming Down" repeats the phrase "I think I'm coming down" almost 20 times, each falling like a hammer.

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From The Archives Issue 1142: October 27, 2011