Kristin Kontrol: X-Communicate (Sub Pop) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue # 57 - M83


Sub Pop

May 26, 2016 Issue # 57 - M83 Bookmark and Share

Kristin Welchez (aka Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls) is no stranger to stylistic overhauls. Even before her current incarnation as Kristin Kontrol, Dum Dum Girls started as a lo-fi home recording project in 2009 and ended (for now) with 2014’s stunning Too True, a record that married the best aspects of dream pop, New Wave, goth, and even ‘60s psychedelia to some of the most memorable material she’d ever written. Still, this is a change so startling that she had to announce a change of nom de plume from Dum Dum Girls to Kristin Kontrol. Or is it? It’s not inconceivable that even if she’d kept the Dum Dum Girls name, X-Communicate could be seen as taking the relative sheen of Too True even further. Furthermore, Madonna has always been an audible influence on Dum Dum Girls, as one listen of Too True‘s “Are You Okay” will confirm. With all that said, yes, this is a dance-pop record, but think a modern spin on Kate Bush’s The Hounds of Love, Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Tinderbox, or even Danielle Dax rather than say, Katy Perry. In other words, it’s still plenty arty, but guitars aren’t the dominating features and are barely present here. Still, this is a very enjoyable listen that falls short of the exceedingly high standards that Welchez has set for herself. Everything is enjoyable and reasonably well-executed here, but with the notable exceptions of “(Don’t) Wannabe,” the title track, and “Going Through the Motions,” few of the songs really connect with her trademark hooks. It’s hard not to think that either she just hasn’t perfected this style yet or it’s a one-off detour. Only time will tell, but wherever Dee Dee or Kristin goes, this album proves that it’s well worth keeping up with her output. (

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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