By Spencer Wilking
By Christina Black
By Calum Marsh
By J. Pablo
By Phillip Mlynar
By Jenna Sauers
By Brian McManus
By Elliott Sharp
Tammy Ealom's had her proverbial cheeks pinched by so many critics lately that calling her thrift-store style and retro sunshine pop "cute" seems cruel. But by naming her band after a doll, Dressy Bessy's brainchild asked for it. And on the Denver group's third full-length, there's more adorable where that came from. Anchored by ultra-bouncy rhythms, the album finds six-string slinger John Hill (also of Apples in Stereo) reeling in his share of distorto-guitar mini-solos and chunky hooks. But it's Ealom's buoyant sing-along lyricism that really steer the boat toward sweetness.
Not the ironic sweetness we expect from frontwomen like Liz Phair, whose X-rated content contradicts her innocent delivery. At her naughtiest Ealom's a vintage princess who swigs whiskey ("BlinkTwice"), where the blowjob queen prefers a saltier substance. Sharply recorded in a real New York studio instead of Tammy's apartment, Dressy Bessy forgoes the 4-track homemadeness that marks both its predecessors and Little Music, a recent comp of early seven-inches and demos. Singing about a shoe shine in "Baby Six String," Ealom offers a double-entendre defense of her indie integrity: "If it's uncool to be polished, baby I don't wanna talk." Talk on, Tammy.
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