Image: Andy Cotterill
With two top #10 ARIA albums already under their belt, DMA’S are back with their new album, THE GLOW. The band have come along way since their debut, Hill’s End, which was recorded in the bands guitarist Johnny Took’s Newtown apartment. Fast forward four years and the band are on their third record. THE GLOW was recorded at the historic Westlake Recording Studios in Hollywood and mixed by multi-Grammy Award winning producer Stuart Price, famously known for working with The Killers, New Order and Madonna to name a few. This time around, the band had no limitations.
The conceptual theme that is threaded throughout the record is change and adapting to it. Not only lyrically, but sonically. The Sydney based trio have incorporated more thrashing beats and synthesised sounds into their music. The record opens with euphoric synth sounds and thrashing beats on the psychedelic punk track Never Before. Acting as the connector between the bands previous releases and their latest record, the track is comprised of only two chords that invert eventually and does not adopt the traditional song structure.
Title track The Glow navigates the feeling of working on your craft but feeling nothing good come to fruition, but you continue to chase it. “I’m sick and tired of chasing the glow” Thomas O’Dell Sings on the song, showing the band at their most vulnerable. Lead single Silver continues the vulnerability, with O’Dell’s soothing yet intense vocals cutting through the track.
The euphoric Life Is A Game of Changing utilises lush synths, dance beats and crisp guitar echos. All of this paired with O’Dells crooning vocals create an anthem track that feels like a 90s/early 2000s rave. Criminals is sure to be a fan favourite. Again feeling like a late 90’s, early 2000s track, the slowed down ballads anthem chorus is sure to be a great moment when the band tours in the future. Strangers was brought to the table by the bands guitarist Matt Mason. The track has a massive chorus and is a standout in terms of guitars on the record.
Learning Alive is an epic piano ballad that continues the theme of changing. The powerful track begins with O’Dells vocals over shifting piano chords before shifting gears to produce yet another anthemic chorus that the band are now known for. On Hello Girlfriend, the band return to their earlier sound and continued love for 90’s sounds. That earlier sound continues on Appointment, a sweet track about waiting for the one you love. Round & Around is a hypnotic rock n roll tune with hypnotic dance undertones that serves as the records penultimate track. The record ends on a melancholic note. Cobracaine is a track the band have tried to put on all their earlier releases. But now with their exploration into synths and electronic beats, the track has found its place on THE GLOW. The song was written by Mason after witnessing how many lives were lost in drunk diving accidents during schoolies. The sobering track creates a haunting atmosphere through the deep electronic sounds and O’Dells mesmerising vocal performance.
THE GLOW is arguably the bands best release to date. Each track feels fresher than the last with the trios songwriting and musicianship skills having elevated to a whole other level. The album encapsulates their manic live shows and is a further exploration of the bands signature style, without feeling over done. The record does a great job at combining guitars and percussive instruments with synthesised sounds and digital electro-pop beats, something that could prove disastrous when not perfectly balanced. Yet, DMA’S have perfected their craft and produced a record of timeless tracks, yet again proving why they are one of Australia’s greatest bands.
THE GLOW is out now! Find all the details for DMA'S Live and Intimate Album Launch performances, here!