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Dum Dum Girls- Only in Dreams (Album Review)

Kristin Gundred, a/k/a Dee Dee, is no actual dum dum, so she made good where Vivian Girls didn’t. One sonically buried experience (2010’s I Will Be) was enough to make her realize that with a big girl-group concept should come big songs, so she’d better write some. With help from the Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner and “My Boyfriend’s Back” co-writer Richard Gottehrer, 2011 EP He Gets Me High wiped out that lo-fi crap with a husky new voice (not Gundred’s first metamorphosis — just dig up her Gossip-style work with Grand Ole Party) on two high-powered hooksongs, one sweet-enough ballad, and a Smiths cover that rocked. Six months later, she delivers an album that sounds like Chrissie Hynde backed by Hüsker Dü. Only in Dreams could make you wonder what other indie bands would jump up and thrive if only they had steamroller production. But the boiling guitar tones bind the songwriting tighter than Gundred’s leather jacket, even on the six-minute “Coming Down.” The Buddy Holly–esque “Heartbeat” helps balance the ’80s-isms, and every time she kisses something called “Bedroom Eyes” too wistfully there’s something around the corner like “Just a Creep” to bite down hard.