Album Review: DMA’s ‘DMA’s’
Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on April 14, 2014
I hadn’t heard an album like this in such a long time. It was compellingly honest. The first play was enough for me to know that this was not only an objectively good album, with polished production and stellar songwriting, it also had the capacity to create emotion, stir my brain a bit. How did this trio out of Newtown, Sydney manage to create something so emotive, so unique?
The band has been in the works for 2 years now, when Tommy O’Dell and Johnny Took first started writing and producing songs, with Matt Mason mixed in a little later. Over time, they compiled over 50 songs, and when releasing a 5 song EP, it was always going to be tough to narrow it down. We interviewed Johnny a few weeks ago and he said:
“It’s a fine line between showing the diversity and also to release a body of work that is more cohesive, otherwise people are just going to get confused.”
DMA’s shifts through a couple of different styles, from the heavier “Play It Out”, to the more groovy “Your Low”. However, there is a distinctiveness held by Tommy’s voice which makes sure that the album doesn’t become obscure. They’ve definitely pushed the songwriting aspect, with clean-cut lyrics and influences from old school Brit-Pop/Rock along the lines of Oasis and Blur.
“Feels Like 37”
Straight into heavy drums and guitar, this track has an uplifting fast pace, coupled with intermittent guitar. It was the second track released and showed that DMA’s had a whole repertoire of heavier rock behind them. It’s catchy and likeable, with that oh so summery vibe.
“When you’re blind, you’re never going to see him again”. A strangling guitar pierces in through this relatively depressed tune, coupled with distorted guitars. I like how different this song is, and I know Johnny’s been quoted as saying that he wanted DMA’s to be ‘noise noise noise’, but I honestly love these more chilled, emotive songs.
“Play It Out”
I’ll admit it. This one was a grower. It didn’t have the uniqueness of “Delete” or immediate charm of ‘Feels Like 37″ and it took me a while to get into it. The heavy drums are definitely the winner on this track, and for once the vocals take the backseat.
When you first heard DMA’s I’m sure you thought: Oasis. This song again exemplifies Tommy’s vocal likening to Liam Gallagher, with that crooning voice and slow long draws. It’s another chilled one, with breezy overtones and tambourine inclusions.
This was chosen as the first release for a reason. It’s singularity derives from its drawn out build; From Tommy’s sailing gallagheresque voice, backed only by acoustic guitar, to that moment when the second guitar pulsates in at 2:51, to Mason’s entrance and the final delightful cacophony.
I loved this album, and it’s an absolute pleasure to listen to- start to finish.
DMA’s have sold out their Melbourne and Sydney shows, and just added another two. They’re also playing at ‘Bad Friday’ at The Vic in Sydney this Friday. Definitely catch these boys live!