Dee Dee Penny's nurtured Dum Dum Girls through thick and thin, worked alongside some of the strongest creative voices in the biz, and cemented herself (and the group) as an guitar-based institution of sorts. In recent years, the sound of DDG has softened, from the lo-fi fuzz and dreamgaze riffery of their initial output to today's offerings, which err considerably towards pop. On third LP, Too True, the Brooklyn four-piece are polished, crystalline reflections on their former selves - they're balanced on a knife-edge currently, and this tonal shift could either be the best thing to ever happen to them or their utter undoing.

On one hand, there's radio-poised efforts like the Veronicas-aping 'Are You Okay'. Taylor Swift would be proud of its ingrained power-ballad DNA - and though this turn towards all-out pop music doesn't breed inherently bad music (in fact, it's quite pleasant), but it's not the reason we fell in love with Dum Dum Girls, and besides, Swift is already doing the country-pop schtick. That void's already filled. 'Too True To Be Good', while retaining some of the woozy ancestral gumption, never really avoids the Top 40 pit either. It's the sort of track a really 'hip' and 'indie' Topshop singer would bleat in front of Cowell & Co. on The X Factor (think Diana Vickers or Janet Devlin). Again, not atrocious, just not really what we want from Dum Dum Girls.

Some efforts do funnel that former glory though - and while we're at this juncture, it's not that we want Dum Dum Girls to remain frozen in time, but can you imagine if Fucked Up started sounding like Calvin Harris and changed their name to F***** Up or Messed Up? Nuh-uh, that doesn't fly here amigos. Where were we? Ah yes - there are some slabs of bristly fuzz-rock still to admire. 'Rimbaud Eyes', for example. Let's not get into a discussion on the massive subtexts lest this become a thesis, nor shall we explore why Penny singing "You've got Rimbaud eyes!" sounds so much like "You've got bimbo eyes!" (is this deliberate? Have I lost the plot?) Regardless of the lyrical content and 19th century goth-libertine references, it's a glorious salvo of '90s pop-rock sodden with platinum pedalboard FX.

'Cult Of Love', with shimmering axes aplenty, is another effort that nods to the past. It's brash, full of guitars that sound like someone's mashed them 'rustically' with a rock and an impish punk beat thumping away. 'Evil Blooms' is jagged and rended asunder, but its not without charm. Penny's voice drifts like liquid silver, clarion above the mossy distortion; it's disconcertingly sweet given the subject matter: "Why be good?/ Be beautiful and sad, it's all you've ever had."

Too True is a bit of a mixed bag. Put is this way: if you buy a packet of Revels, you expect to get a variety of chocolate-coated sweets - all follow a formula, even though they have their differences. However, in this bag of Revels, someone's thrown in some Jelly Tots. Still pretty good, and you'll enjoy them, but it's not what you were necessarily after.