Dum Dums - It Goes Without Saying

Sunday 1st July 2001
Dum Dums - It Goes Without Saying
Dum Dums - It Goes Without Saying

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 3535-17297
LABEL: Good Behaviour CDGOOD4

Reviewed by Steve Best

By the time this review appears, it is highly likely that the Dum Dums' second album will be in the shops, so it seems timely to take a look at the band's debut of last year. The Dum Dums, of course, built up a grassroots fanbase then stepped into the Big Time spotlight glare as support act for Robbie Williams. It's easy to see how the Robster took a liking to what is a very assured first album. Drawing on the proven production pedigree of Steve Power (who numbers Robbie himself among former clients), this is a confident collection of guitar power pop. It's hard to believe at times that you are listening to a trio, but Josh Doyle (vocals and guitars), whose work with Christian independent Prophet was reviewed in Cross Rhythms years ago, Stuart Wilkinson (drums and vocals) and Steve Clarke (bass and vocals), whose parents work for the Saltmine Trust in the West Midlands, are capable of working up quite a sound. Although the album's been given a bit of a hard time in the secular music press, the truth is that this is eminently listenable, with a classic-sounding Jellyfish or Dodgy guitar pop vibe throughout and more than a hint of the writing style and attitude of the wonderful Joe Jackson in his early days. Although from a musical point of view the majority of the 11 tracks on offer are upbeat guitar romps - at times deliciously punky in sound, a glance at the lyrics reveals a sting in the tail in places. Alongside fairly straightforward love songs such as "Can't Get You Out Of My Thoughts", "You Knock Me Off My Feet" and the superb closer "Army Of Two" - the last single from the album - there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction. Opener "The Kind Of Day I've Had" laments, "The kind of day I've had/It can't get any worse"; "Caught Me In A Trap" includes the line, "Every day I live is another day wasted" while another former single "Everything" rants, "I'm getting scared about people on TV/Don't wanna live and die for the treasure that they seek/I want to wreck my town and live up in the trees." At the end of the day, there's a lot more to this first Dum Dums release than meets the eye, and it will be interesting to see what themes they explore in their follow up. Guitar pop for the 21st century; Now there's an exciting prospect.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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