Dressy Bessy don’t sound bad. It’s not like they jar the ears. They have rhythm, an ability to stay in tune, and that hint of aggression that punk showed us how to appreciate. There’s nothing wrong unless we expect musicians to see all that has come before and to demand more.
Dressy Bessy’s fourth album, Electrified, takes all of its fashion and album-design influence straight from the ’60s, but the music is just a watered-down version of the ’90s rock group The Breeders. The well-worn formula is a heavy-hitting drum beat, some power electric guitar and a bassline that follows obediently, all fronted by husky yet attractive female vocals. I’d be more forgiving if it wasn’t painfully obvious that I can turn this off and find any number of groups who do it better.
The fashion is meant to be a facade that we see through, wanting it both ways: fashion-oriented yet too cool for fashion. They’re the kids at prom who want nothing more than to be seen both dressed up and smoking outside, as if they never wanted to be there in the first place. But of course, they did, or else they wouldn’t have bothered showing up.
The problem with Dressy Bessy is that they’re all done up for the dance, they’re out back smoking, but the drags they take are just not natural.