For followers of Sydney outfit DMAs, April 27th unveils the latest in the bands story. Not only are the trio commencing their UK tour in Nottingham but the date also marks the release of their highly anticipated second album For Now.
This sophomore record marks a significant shift in sound and signposts the moment they stop being defined by genre and become artists in their own right. For Now goes some way in shedding the recurring comparisons to Oasis and building up their own repertoire. However, if it is Britpop that you’re hankering after – think less Oasis and more Stone Roses for this outing.
The record, produced by The Presets’ Kim Moyes, kicks into a thumping action with the pre-released opener that carries the album name. This fast-paced track bears punchy aggressive guitar riffs rife with barre chords and frontman O’Dell’s gritty vocals are undeniably reminiscent of early Ian Brown. Fellow single ‘Dawning’ is again layered with the catchy harmonies and melodies that became synonymous with their debut album Hills End.
The tempo is then dropped to the softer verse in ‘Time Money’, exposing a soulful aspect to O’Dell’s voice that finds continuation in the following track ‘In The Air’ and sets the tone for the rest of the record. The melodic ballad of ‘In The Air’ finds O’Dell in an almost melancholic mood, proclaiming “I’ve been hurting for so long”. There is a lyrical melancholy pulsing throughout the veins of this emotive album, only temporarily masked by the triumphant crescendos and electronic synths in the albums stand-out track, ‘The End’, and also by the buoyant acoustic backing to ‘Warsaw’.
The latter part of the record follows much in the same emotive tone set prior, overcast with O’Dell’s reflective and almost moody prose in ‘Do I Need You Now?’ and underpinned in with heavy guitar and drums provided by Took and Mason in ‘Break Me’. ‘Lazy Love’ provides a further insight into a band full of confidence in the diversity of their work. This confidence is reverberated as the record spins out further in an acoustic direction for its final three tracks, ‘Tape Deck’, ‘Health’ and culminating in the albums blissful and dreamy closer; ‘Emily Whyte’.
Despite a distinct shift in sound, this is not an unrecognisable DMAs. Correct – you shouldn’t expect a likeness to the bedroom-recorded Hills End, however the catchy rock ‘n’ roll riffs and adept song-craft that won so many followers on their debut release, likewise remain integral to this record. The album is seemingly a natural progression for a band filled with confidence and with a willingness to stray from the conforms of any genre. Fans should be excited by the prospect that following this record, the evolution of DMAs as an outfit could follow any direction. The album captures a matured outlook and embodies this latest incarnation of DMAs, ‘for now’.