Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dum Dum Girls and SISU Bring Beauty and Heartbreak to The Roxy

Written by Jessica Klausing

Photo by Marytrini Garcia Hernandez
Dum Dum Girls and SISU played to a sold out show at The Roxy on April 17th. I admit I went to the show not knowing either of the bands. As soon as the opening band, SISU took stage, I knew I was in for quite a psych rock journey.

SISU is a Finnish word that loosely translates to determination, bravery and resilience. I really couldn’t think of a better way to describe the beautiful styling of multi instrumentalist front woman, Sandra Vu.

Vu is an incredible musician. One minute she is blowing the doors down with an aggressive guitar solo, the next she is balancing the song’s softer side on the flute. She is also the drummer for the Dum Dum Girls on top of all that! SISU deals with a much darker complex than the Dum Dum Girls’ sound.

The band's aggressive yet graceful material attributes their debut album, Blood Tears. Blood Tears is the yin and yang between comfort and despair. A prime example would be one of my favorites, “Harpoons.” The song begins with Vu’s seductive vocals drawing the listener deeper into the sinister sound.

Dee Dee Penny soon took the stage in a skintight cat woman-esque suit. Penny’s sultry voice captivated the audience as the Dum Dum Girls opened with “Mine Tonight.”

 The stage was decked out with glowing flowers and a huge neon blue heart. The sweet smell of incense candles burning onstage filled the air that drew the audience into a psychedelic whirlwind of edgy punk music. A lot of people tend to compare the band’s sound to Morrissey or The Vivian Girls. The first thing that came to me was more of an early 90's, Roxette or The Cranberries vibe.

Dum Dum Girls played songs from all of their albums, I Will Be, Only in Dreams and their newest release, Too True. The new tracks still held true to the band’s gothic rock roots but with a bit more bubblegum.

From the upbeat, “He Gets Me High” to the tear jerker, “Rimbaud Eyes,” this was an emotional show not to miss. You can’t help but feel that these girls have had their hearts wrung through the wringer and left out to dry. The blend of Penny’s voice with the guitar chords forces you to really feel the heartbreak first hand. I couldn't have asked for a better first intimate show at the Roxy.


Mine Tonight
I Got Nothing
Bedroom Eyes
Wake of You
I Will Be
He Gets Me High
Too True to Be Good
Are You Okay?
Rest of Our Lives
It Only Takes One Tonight
Under These Hands
Rimbaud Eyes
Lord Knows
Pale Saints
Coming Down

1 comment:

  1. I love the CD. Evil, Rimbaud, OK, Too True, Lost, and Hands are great, great songs. DD is the biggest female rock writer since Joni Mitchell. You don't see "I can no more/bathed in your languor's of waves/sail in your wake" coming out of Madonna. But the show was weak. They didn't sound anywhere close to the CD. I saw a David Crosby show a week or two after the DDG show. He played every ethereal cool part and sound on his latest CD. The DDGs have to do that if they want to be great. They have to be a great live band if they want to be a great band. The vocals were not loud enough or layered. And the set list was thin at the top. They didn't play Evil Blooms - an incredible dark song - and there were 4 or 5 songs at the top of the set list that were completely forgettable. Regardless, these flaws can be fixed. If she write more great songs - which she can because she is a method writer, have a longer and more consistent set list in terms of quality, and produce her voice better live they will become great. They will go up the billing ranks of the festivals they are playing today.