Good things often come in small packages. Clocking in at just eighteen minutes, the End of Daze EP by Dum Dum Girls conveys more raw emotion and musicality than many records two or three times in length.
Over the four years that Dum Dum Girls have been around, this all-girl act headed by singer/songwriter Dee Dee Penny has already established a reputation for creativity and growth, each new project expanding on the next. At different times, their sound has encompassed elements of punk, surf, noise and indie-pop, but always in surprising ways. It might just be me, but at times they remind me of the Bangles, except buzzier, noisier and much darker. And with a lot more reverb.
End of Daze plays kind of like a coda to the band’s previous LP Only In Dreams, but takes a much moodier turn. Dee Dee is a remarkably honest and transparent songwriter who has been openly processing the death of her mother to cancer, and this record almost comes across as Dee Dee saying, “These are a few deeper things I couldn’t say on that other record we just did.” For that reason, it’s probably good that it’s only five songs, because it packs a beautifully emotional punch without leading the listener down into utter depression.
Lyrically, Dee Dee speaks more in cryptic emotional terms, speaking of love, loss and death without telling too much of a story. Among the most poignant lines can be found in “Trees And Flowers”: “And I hate the trees, and I hate the flowers / And I hate the buildings and the way they tower over me / Can’t you see I get so frightened / No one else seems frightened, only me, only me.” On the closer “Season In Hell,” Dee Dee progresses from unveiling her emotions to outright grappling with them: “Confession’s not a cure, there’s always darkness to endure / On the path to be redeemed”, then concluding with a more hopeful “Doesn’t dawn look divine?”
Overall, End of Daze isn’t necessarily an EP to play at a party. But it is a record that needed to be made, and one that deserves to be listened to, related to. While most EPs play as a holdover between LPs, Dum Dum Girls have made this five-song interlude one of the most powerful moments of their career thus far.