WORDS BY WILLEM BERGQUIST
Well, The Boys are Back! And after 2 years, since “For Now” and a 4-month delay there’s finally new music to light up that dark little hole in our lovely eardrums that craves a heavenly track like a clubber craves a kebab at 2 am on a Saturday in their Third Studio Album “The Glow”.
After teasing us with first tastes from the single Drops of “Silver” and “Life Is A changing Game” you can’t imagine how far past the edge of my seat I was for the Sydney trio’s expansion past the Brit-pop genre that dropped on July 10th after the sad postponement from its original expected release in April.
“The Glow” is the passionate lovechild of the band’s collaboration with English Electronic Artist/Producer Stuart Price who on-top of his three-time grammy winning work totes an impressive clientele of everything from Madonna, to New Order to the Killers. The sound of which pushes past the bands previous affinity of Indie Rock anthems into a new territory of Dance Music that hails back to the roots of the group’s earlier passions. Back to a time when they were pumping out demos that consisted only of a drum machine, vocals and guitar from a shitty apartment in Newtown before they had the experience of records and touring.
However this new expansion to style is nothing to scoff at as this partnership of someone so toted in the history of the Genre allowed the Australian Indie favourites to develop song ideas into the electronic dance genre that have been rattling around in the wings since 2014 in a blend of new and old song ideas that acts as a coming of age for the band, as stated by band member Johnny Took “ we now have the knowledge and experience to make them better songs than maybe they would have been back then”.
But this change isn’t surprising, as adapting to change is one of the overarching themes for the whole 11 track LP states Took. Still incorporating that signature angelic voice of Tommy O’Dell that’s guaranteed to make you cream your jeans, the band is able to establish a stylistic backbone that swaps in electronic loops and samples that have remained intact since the early days of debut albums ‘The Hills’ now fully fleshed out with the help of Price.
You can hear this in the primordial dance beat of intro track “Never before” thats overwhelming scale blends choruses and relatable lyricism reminiscent of Oasis’s Champagne Supernova with that kicking drive of a New Order Track.
The title track ‘Glow’ and single ‘Silver’ follow similar blending of texture with guitar pedals and beat machines that explore the concept of new beginnings and approaches to life through the juxtapositions of instrumentation that can somehow allow an electronic beat machine and synthesiser to sound great against a stringed quartet as heavily influenced by band member Mathew Mason.
But it isn’t until ‘Life Is A Game Of Changing’ that the band goes into a full swing of spiralling, pulsating synthesisers that mixes arpeggiated cellaring melodies in a larger than life dance track that the band envisions as pulling together live set through its pulsating rhythms and catchy guitar-driven pre-chorus that continues to swell in some unbelievable hype that I personally can’t wait to feel thumping through me as I suffer intense concussions in a mosh.
If you’re here for the die-hard classic DMA’s Sound you can find it echoed no better than in the heavier rock tracks of ‘Hello Girlfriend’ And ‘Round & Around’ or the Sweet Ballads of ‘Criminals’ . But my favourite has got to be the closer of the album in ‘Cobracaine’ for its dive into a darker Synthy Dance music that I don’t think has ever ben seen from the group before with the experimentation of Vocoders on Vocals that delves into a really unique atmosphere to explore the narrative in the tragic death of the young on their way to schoolies. I don’t think anyone could have imagined it was written initially just after their hit track ‘Delete’ back in 2014. Just to see where they have come in terms of experimentation I think we’re finally seeing DMA’s as they had always wanted to be and it’s beautiful.
All and all, to me this album is a love letter to change. The frustrations of being trapped, the scariness of being plunged into the unknown, the excitement of something different, and the growth that can come of it. Whether you are trying to delve back to an old place with a new perspective or going for something completely new the rejection of all you once knew. If you’re a fan of DMA’s I think you’ll find something you’ll love in this album.
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