Tommy O’Dell, Matt Mason and Johnny Took formed DMA’s in Sydney, Australia in 2012. The three-piece band exploded onto the scene in 2014 with their debut single “Delete” and self-titled EP which was heavily influenced by the Brit Pop sound and gained them comparisons to Oasis. DMA’s debut album Hills End was released in 2016 and their second album, For Now, came out in 2018. Both albums were released by Infectious Music label and are soaked in the Brit Pop and swaggering indie rock sound of the 1990s with added updated themes and a nod to a few wider, heavier influences such as J Mascis and Sonic Youth.
The Glow is DMA’s third album. Released by the I OH YOU label and is produced by the electronic music composer Stuart Price (Les Rythmes Digitales.) Price as a producer has worked with a long and varied range of artists from Madonna to Missy Elliott and The Killers to Everything Everything and is an excellent choice of producer for the bands' third album, especially if they are trying to expand their musical ideas. On The Glow, Price has sprinkled his Grammy-winning production magic and helped to expand the DMA’s sound. The indie-pop is still there, as are the ballads and silky vocals, but now DMA’s have added 90’s House and Techno, pulsing synth sounds and funky beats.
The Glow opens with the psychedelic sounding “Never Before” bouncing on a funky beat with O’Dell’s characteristic vocals front and foremost. It captures everything the DMA’s are about and is destined to be a fan’s favourite. The, already released, single and title track “The Glow” is an attempt in storytelling, surrounded by some great guitar work. It's themed around a break-up and lyrically its the weakest link, lacking in imagination with over forced sentiments. By comparison, the single “Silver” sounds like a classic from the shoe-gazing era bringing to mind bands like Slowdive. “Silver” is slow-burning. It builds, gently out of simple chords to a chorus that’s dangerously infectious. The lyrics are reflective with a touch of vulnerability and honesty.
“Cobracaine” and “Life Is A Game Of Changing” is DMA’s at a rave. The electronic rhythms pulsate and throb around which delightful synth grooves swirl and O’Dell’s vocals are blended perfectly in the mix. Lyrically the theme of moving forward, especially on “Life Is A Game Of Changing” mimics the DMA’s advancing sound.
Elsewhere DMA’s turn to radio-friendly pop-rock with “Criminals” and their trademark sound on “Strangers” and “Learning Alive.” Both songs, unfortunately, feel a little flat, Indie Rock by numbers. However on “Hello Girlfriend” the indie-rock format explodes. The hooks are great, the bridge is great and the chorus grabs you and demands your attention and Price’s production work is perfect.
The Glow is an interesting mix and mash-up of sounds. New influences have pushed DMA’s in fresh and exciting directions. There is the catchy guitar hooks and the sweet vocal style that has made DMA’s an international band but now there’s the added twists on electronic music.