DUMP HIM’s new LP, Dykes To Watch Out For, demands attention and screams loud and clear: “I refuse to fucking recreate dichotomies of real and fake.” So sing all four members in unison on the title track.
The first time I heard these words were not streaming on Spotify, however, but rather in the packed main room of the Democracy Center in Cambridge for the LP release show. As drummer Larz dexterously smashed the kit, Jac and Mattie jammed on their guitars while Otto pulsed the bass, ringing out the words, “What was it like to only get to be yourself / In strips of film and black and white negatives?”
The lyrics throw back to the queers of scenes past who helped the speaker “navigate the creation of one’s own non-binary lesbian identity,” as Jac wrote in the companion zine the band released with DTWOF.
An array of other bands opened before DUMP HIM stepped on stage. Lady Queens of Paradise, NOT RIGHT, Butch Baby, and moonish brute hyped up the crowd before the headliners, and in between sets I was able to grab a few words from some DUMP HIM members while Larz was on a smoke break and Jac stepped away from the merch table. Even after a long tour through several states, the band seemed energized and ready to rock.
“It was our first time on the West Coast, so that was really humbling and such a shock that we were so well received out there,” Larz said. “It’s cool to see how music made by some East Coast dykes can really transcend, and like, people find it.”
On the back of DTWOF, DUMP HIM went out determined to bring their real-as-heck pop-punk to audiences as far and wide as possible.
“We write accessible music because it’s fun and we like to, but also lyrically we try to be thoughtful,” Jac said. “It’s for anyone that can relate.” Still, their latest project is very much based on personal experiences, specifically those of the band navigating their identities as “gay ass non-binary feminists,” and as “the in between,” as Jac writes in the accompanying zine.
In true punk-pop fashion, DUMP HIM are “carving out that space [as] a queer band that has a lot to say,” Larz said. “It’s all in the lyrics.”