Last year, the indie world rediscovered the sound of classic girl-group pop, heard in the cooing vocals of Sleigh Bells and Best Coast, and filtered through twangy sounds of early rock ’n’ roll via Los Angeles’ Dum Dum Girls. Led by the stone-faced Dee Dee, who started the band as a solo project, the group had one of 2010’s best records with I Will Be, a collection of elemental rock built on heavily reverbed guitars—which made everything sound appropriately distant—and Dee Dee’s voice. The album was largely recorded at home before Dee Dee rounded out the band’s lineup, so its sparseness wasn’t necessarily an artistic choice.
Unsurprisingly, the band’s new EP—the second album is tentatively scheduled for the fall—has a beefier, more fleshed-out sound. The tom rolls opening “Wrong Feels Right” alone are a stark contrast to the basic drumming of I Will Be, with Dee Dee and Jules’ guitars twisting together nicely. “He Gets Me High,” which recalls The Jesus And Mary Chain, is the band’s boldest move forward, with layers of fuzz and a knockout chorus. The spare ballad “Take Care Of My Baby” follows, with a solid cover of The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” closing out the EP. As holdover until the next album, He Gets Me High does exactly what it should: raise anticipation for what comes next.