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DUMP HIM - "Venus In Gemini" | Album Review

by June Amelia Rose (@venusxenvy)

DUMP HIM are a queercore revival band from Massachusetts whose relentless touring schedule has earned them quite a level of infamy in today’s queer music scenes. With an infectious name and equally infectious bare-basics pop punk tunes, DUMP HIM (sometimes styled as DUMPxHIM or xDUMPxHIMx) have made a name for themselves in a relatively short time. 

Jac Walsh, the primary member and songwriter, has brought a level of dedication and originality to a scene in desperate need of it. Jac’s influences for DUMP HIM include Liz Phair, astrology, extreme gayness, and a bit of trashy pop punk fun (one of the songs is titled “42069”). The band’s social media is a torrent of astrological emojis, and it’s not uncommon to see the band tweeting about weed and ridiculous happenings in the punk scene and the queer community.

The way the track “Benefit/Doubt” sets the tone of Venus In Gemini and then pounds force-heavy into “Spectator” with the whole band is the way all pop punk albums should start (take note, boys about to be dumped). DUMP HIM’s biggest strength is that Jac writes in a genre that they know well, except they bring a level of fresh personality to the mix that is seldom found in the over-the-top but emotionally distant pop punk scene. 

Nowhere is this burst of personality more apparent than on the track “What’s Yr Deal With Kim?,” where downer rainfall, Bruce Springsteen, and Kim Deal’s The Amps combine. In listening to the blistering lyrics, the listener gets a feel for who Jac is as a person when they’re not on a strict touring schedule or bouncing around on stage: bumming around listening to records, dealing with traumas and boredom. 

Feelings of dysphoria and dissociation are the subject of “Pretty Like a Boy”, where Jac, who uses “they” pronouns, avoids looking in the mirror. Unlike the song’s somber lyrics, it’s an upbeat, bouncy song, with a bit of cheeky delivery amidst its longing for a body without flesh. 

“Attack and Amend” has been on my summer pop punk playlist ever since it was teased way back at the start of this year, originally a solo demo and then a preview of what antics Jac’s full band could get into. The track has the perfect fuzz to your summer fling, and I’m sure if you threw it on a mixtape for your hookup, they’d love it. It makes my gay little heart sing. The guitars glisten over feelings of regret as leaves fall and summer turns to autumn, and the record closes before you know it. Instinctually, like Jac in “Whats Yr Deal With Kim?,” I find myself turning the record back around.