10 July 2020 (released)
06 July 2020
Credit is due to DMA's for reminding us just how far some good tunes and no little self-belief can get you. To be repeatedly compared to Britpop bands in general, and Oasis in particular, are mixed blessings at best, but the Sydney trio have persevered, and in six years have gone from obscurity to the verge of their largest UK headline show to date at London's Alexandra Palace (in October).
'The Glow' is their third album, and it sees them taking further steps into the electronica-tinged territory hinted at on previous record 'For Now'. 'Life Is A Game Of Changing' is emblematic of this; an early highlight, reminiscent of New Order, with vocalist Tommy O' Dell darkly contemplating humanity's struggle to adapt over shimmering synths and a pulsating beat. Elsewhere, opener 'Never Before' has a shuffling groove reminiscent of the Charlatans or Stone Roses at their most dancefloor-friendly.
The influence from a certain other bunch of Mancunians is less noticeable this time, with the possibly exception of 'Criminals', which boasts an anthemic chorus straight out of the 'Be Here Now' book of stadium-sized songwriting. Oh, and a few unfortunate lyrical Gallagherisms (e.g. "Is anybody real/Does anybody feel/Does anybody write the days in motion/They're sinking through the ocean") here and there.
The glossy production job certainly gives the impression of a Big League Band™, and at their best (most notably on the title track and 'Hello Girlfriend'), DMA's sound like they could take on the Coldplays and Killerses of this world at their own game. However, on more mellow moments like 'Learning Alive' And 'Appointment', they fall short; their more sentimental side ill-served by the kind of bland ballads you'd typically hear during a heartbreak scene in Hollyoaks.
Without a doubt, these are songs with the power to fill the kind of cavernous venues that surely lie ahead for DMA's. In terms of carving out their own sonic identity, though, 'The Glow' shows that they've still got a way to go.