DMA's | For Now Album Review
DMA's second album oozes with haziness and winks at the great British rock acts of the 1990s. Through booming production, the Aussie trio find themselves the creators of a thrilling listen, but not necessarily one that exhibits their core...
Without a tweet of approval from Liam Gallagher, DMA's might have struggled to gain recognition in early 2018, despite their noble cause in Britpop revival. Of course, their talent would have shone through eventually and caught the ears of critics and newfound fans alike, but a digital thumbs-up from the Oasis man himself has certainly helped them no end.
Immediately, it should be noted that this is an Australian trio somehow caught in the haze of 1990s Britain, churning out sleepy summer anthems for fun. Aside from the ice-cool opening title track, For Now primarily consists of blissful, well-nigh lazy tunes centred on jangly guitars. Britpop's influence is undeniable.
After the opener fades out (evidently leaving the line, "No I won't be anymore" lingering in the mind) 'Dawning' begins, which feels relatively unremarkable except for a delightfully catchy hook in the chorus. Lyrically, the track remains unimpressive - as can be said for the majority of the record - but it's of little concern considering most of the 90s UK bands were far from poets themselves. It's really the interplay between the frankly inspiring Aussie musicians that transforms these words from mere utterings to brilliantly produced songs.
It wouldn't be fair to write off DMA's as a total Britpop revival band. Other influences teem throughout For Now such as shoegaze and Madchester, and to overlook their warm spirit would otherwise be an injustice. 'In The Air' is perhaps the most fitting example of this, where despite unmotivated progression, it holds an aura practically brimming with sunshine, thanks to a reverberating bass serving as the underbelly. 'In The Air' leads into 'Warsaw', which is arguably the highlight of the entire album.
Comparisons to The Stone Roses can instantly be drawn, only emphasised further by the opening oohs and aahs seemingly taken from their 1989 track, 'Sally Cinnamon'. With clear indication of a Mancunian nod, 'Warsaw' unfolds into a stunning example of the grand aforementioned interplay, showcasing DMA's ability to write brilliant songs without having to be as much of a wordsmith as Bob Dylan or Ian Curtis. It's this that pushes DMA's searing atmosphere as well as shows off their adoration for massive generation-defining anthems - it's now not hard to see why Gallagher claimed the album was 'biblical'.
Gallagher isn't the only Oasis member to have spoken about the trio; brother Noel already said he would "watch them from side of stage and boo them," in an interview with The Music back in 2015, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. It's fair to say they're making a name for themselves, not through barbaric antics and use of amphetamines but instead by their powerful music-making abilities.
DMA's sophomore effort is anthemic, yes, but doesn't yet accommodate the swagger that the band desperately need. The closest the album ever comes to a beguiling smirk is 'Break Me', due to droning choruses sung by frontman Tommy O'Dell, which blur into a wailing guitar solo. The group's danceability factor also pales in comparison to the Roses and the Mondays, but DMA's should not be wholly weighed up against the great Brit acts of old.
The Sydneysiders are capable musicians and can definitely write anthems, but they will need to revise their approach and embrace their egos to push something truly fresh, bold and audacious.