Published Jul 08, 2020With Twitter kudos and tour opportunities from none other than Liam Gallagher fresh in the rear-view, now would probably not be the right time for Australian Britpop acolytes DMA's to abandon the bold font '90s approach that's brought them so much early success — or maybe it is?
In any event, they haven't: The Glow, their third album, is very much another exercise in full-throated '90s nostalgia, full of plaintive, bittersweet vocals, fervent acoustic strumming, and a couple of straight-up ravers (they had British legends Orbital remix one of the singles prior to release, a savvy move). And, once again, it all sounds pretty great, this time with extra production sheen courtesy of Stuart Price (who's worked with the Killers) on top of it all.
Fans should know what to expect then, and newcomers will be treated to what is likely the best iteration of the band: a connoisseur's confection of Oasis, Stone Roses, and Lightning Seeds influences with various others mixed in for track-specific flavour (Pulp circa "Common People" gets a look in during the pulsing chorus of "Life Is a Game of Changing," for instance). Endlessly parsing the obvious and not-so-obvious influences doesn't do justice to the band's songwriting however, which is often quite good, even transcendent at a couple of points — it's hard not to get swept up in the surging chorus of "Silver," probably the closest to date the band have gotten to perfecting their formula.
The uncharitable will no doubt hone in on the formula as a negative in and of itself, but it's hard to find fault when following it yields such strong results. Like in some of Oasis's best work, the band has a knack for multi-part choruses and hiding hooks behind hooks — when it all comes together, you're reminded of just why these bands were so popular in the '90s. For such a specific formula, the law of diminishing returns likely looms, if it hasn't arrived already, but for now, The Glow is just enough of a good thing. (Illusive Sounds)