It feels almost like taboo to say bad things about the Birmingham music scene at current but in my opinion it’s rather a case of style over substance at the moment, so it’s rather fitting and timely that relative newcomers Dumb tick both boxes thankfully.
Chew Me Up, Spit Me Up is a five track EP that barely clocks in at over 15 minutes, so you can perhaps guess that it’s not a sombre affair full of half-hearted ballads. Speaking of how, for a long time Indie bands were a bit restrained guitarist Tom Minchin says “We thought we’d turn it all up to ten as we don’t want anything to sound too small”. I know it’s a bit crude or garish, but we like everything to be in your face”. Which is under-selling the four-piece somewhat, ‘in your face’ implies a sense of annoyance and offensiveness but the EP never gets to that level of over-powering; everything just sort of fits.
I mean it’s incredibly noisy don’t get me wrong, but it’s that good sort of ‘fill a room with loud music that makes you feel warm’ noise, not that Miranda Tate’s ear shatteringly nasal tone of voice noise. Dumb are one of the few guitar driven bands around at the minute that can amidst all the chaos find a melody to go with it, opening track ‘Retina’ explodes into life after an intro of feedback before showering itself in a city sized chorus that firmly states ‘Hey we’re not a shit guitar band’.
The only real downside is ‘Super Sonic Love Toy’ that lets its foot off the gas and instead reverses midway back into the 1990s. Frankly it should have stayed there, but the ferocity of the other four tracks more than make up for the mis-step.
Dumb are standing side by side with bands like Honeyblood and Wolf Alice for finding harmonies where there should be none, multiply that with a side order of Pixies and this band could have the quality to still be around for a while yet.
The EP is out now via Tip Top/ One Beat