With the He Gets Me High EP, Dum Dum Girls take their typical girl-band sound up a level. This EP will make listeners reminisce about the 80s, when sounds were dreamier, melodies were poppier and darker at the same time and girls fronting bands were appreciated and rare – not just the mediocre norm of today. He Gets Me High is an album that goes through each of the steps involved with courtship, dating and then heartbreak; it is every girl’s soundtrack to every relationship they’ve ever had.
“Wrong Feels Right” is the opening track of the EP and bears a sound that is strikingly similar to that of the Pretenders, when they were in their prime. Sticking to the relationship soundtrack, this song would represent step 1 – courtship; the title provides evidence in supporting this point. Dee Dee’s vocals sound like they are miles and miles away but are still able to be strong enough to fill the speakers that the song is being played on. Using harmonious interplay of lyrics near the end and a handful of playful yet still tender or haunting guitar rhythms, it sets the tone of the EP letting listeners know they are in for a treat throughout this album.
Next is “He Gets Me High” which keeps the sound of the Pretenders while integrating some strong influences of Siouxsie Sioux which can be heard in the support vocals as well as in the chorus of the song. Similar in sound to “Wrong Feels Right,” “He Gets Me High” would represent the 2nd step in relationships – dating, when things are still fresh enough to be exciting or stimulating. This song is stronger in sound than “Wrong Feels Right” with heavier guitars, distortion and vocals, and is also the last of the EP to have any positivity backing it up.
“Take Care of my Baby” is a mopey lament to saying goodbye to a lover, or step 3 in the relationship process – breaking up. This song has a much stronger eerie-ish Siouxsie Sioux vibe, and proves that the band can do much more than just power chords and upbeat catchy songs. This is heartfelt and full of sorrow and upset; it is a complete turnaround from the previous two songs. “Wrong Feels Right” and “He Gets Me High” use the sound of disconnected and distant vocals to give the songs their powerful, strong feeling while using fast and direct guitars and drums; “Take Care of my Baby” uses distant and mournful guitars and percussion with direct, tortured vocals coming from Dee Dee to give the song a more passionate and sad feeling. This is one of the more surprising songs on the EP as it does not even come close to being similar to the other songs on the album, let alone anything Dum Dum Girls have released previously.
The last song on the album, representing getting over the aforementioned lover in the aforementioned process of relationships, is the song that was the most surprising. Dum Dum Girls cover The Smiths’ “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” for the last track on this EP. Covering any legendary song, especially one by Smiths and crooned by Moz is usually a failure or something that contributes negatively to a band’s record, but thankfully, the Dum Dum girls do an outstanding job. Of course, no one will ever be able to compare to the upset and torment in Morrissey’s voice, but Dum Dum Girls still manage to do him justice. For this track they amp up the sound of the guitars and drums as well as Dee Dee’s vocals and she does not disappoint; Dee Dee manages to keep Morrissey’s melancholy and put a female spin on it, making the song relatable to members of any generation and any gender.
He Gets Me High is definitely worth a listen, if not a purchase. The album proves that Dum Dum Girls are more than able to be in this industry and that they show no sign of letting up in terms of creating albums that are worth anticipating.