Rarely has a band been so adored thousands of miles away from its home city than the Sydney three-piece band DMA’s are in the UK.
With their two previous albums Hill’s End and For Now drawing comparisons to Britpop powerhouses from the 1990’s such as Oasis and Blur, their new album The Glow has moved in a different direction. And it sounds brilliant.
Incorporating a noticeably more electronic sound to this album, DMA’s have shown that there are more strings to their bow than the catchy, feel-good tunes of their first two records.
The album kicks off with the punchy ‘Never Before’ and it’s a song that really suits frontman Tommy O’Dell’s silky smooth voice, one of DMA’s best assets. Title track ‘The Glow’ touches on change, or the lack of it. This theme comes up throughout the album, perhaps a nod to the altering in the band’s sound.
The main event of the album is undoubtedly ‘Silver’, which was released as a single last October. There’s a noticeable effort to make The Glow an album that sounds incredible live, and ‘Silver’ is a slam dunk. If you are attending a DMA’s gig in the future, this song will be a special memory for sure.
From a song that everybody will love to a song that will be more polarising, ‘Life Is A Game Of Changing’ strays far away from DMA’s previous albums. If you can’t handle the more electronic direction the Aussies have taken, this isn’t the song for you.
The next two songs ‘Criminals’ and ‘Strangers’ aren’t DMA’s best work, but they go down as solid songs which, in all fairness, Tommy O’Dell’s voice sounds great on.
‘Learning Alive’ was released as a single in July, and it has gone down a storm. This sounds a lot more like Hill’s End, and is a nice reminder that DMA’s can produce a hell of a catchy, upbeat song. At future gigs, make sure to get on a friend’s shoulders for this one.
‘Hello Girlfriend’ again reminds us that DMA’s are primarily a rock band, and this is another toe-tapper to add to the “sounds great live” category. There’s been a huge demand for this to be one of the singles released before the album, but the boys have remained firm and kept it secret.
‘Appointment’ is a slower, melodic song which picks up to become a decent little tune, whilst penultimate song ‘Round & Around’ sounds much more punky and fiery with a chorus you’ll find yourself shouting along to.
The final song ‘Cobracaine’ is perhaps the most interesting on the album, and the response to the deep electronic sound of it will be fascinating. It is worlds apart from previous popular DMA’s tunes such as ‘In The Air’ and ‘Step Up The Morphine’, so fully expect it to divide opinion.
Bands who reach their third album commonly face a tricky scenario. Do they stick with the previous formula that has worked, or do they take the plunge and change it up? DMA’s have certainly taken a risk with this record, but to a large extent it has worked. Seeing some of the songs live will be a huge experience, and will change a lot of people’s views. The Aussie trio certainly haven’t played it safe.