Dressy Bessy believes in keeping it simple. No fancy chords, wasted notes, or glitzy orchestration for them. Just verse-chorus guitar/drums/bass bubblegum and snappingly catchy pop tunes — lots of them. Their two albums and their singles collection are remarkably consistent documents from one of the strongest indie pop bands to come down the pike in a while. That being said, this album is a bit of a change in direction for the group. Dressy Bessy retains the hooks and simple approach and adds a newfound harder sound. The guitars have some bite to them, and singer Tammy Ealom's usually sugar-spun vocals occasionally sound angry; on "This May Hurt (A Little)" she sounds like she is getting ready to kick some unfortunate jerk in the shins. Georgie Blue matches grinding guitars with Ealom's off-kilter vocals and produces a track that wouldn't sound out of place on one of Blondie's first LPs. Elsewhere, there are plenty of finger-snapping peppy pop tunes that betray the influence of early new wave and power pop bands like Blondie and the Ramones. They haven't entirely thrown off the influence of indie pop groups like Talulah Gosh on the cute "New Song (From Me to You)" and "Hey May." The album's stripped-down sound and approach may leave the listener wishing the band had found a little space for some flashy chords or glitzy orchestration to break things up a bit. Still, it is hard to argue with an album as pure and true as this. -AMG
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