When I received the new DMA’S album “Glow” I was excited and nervous in equal measure. I’m a fan of the band, I’ve covered them a few times and each time I walk away from a DMA’S show, I’m beaming. I love the first two albums “Hills End” and “For Now” and I didn’t want to be disappointed. I didn’t think I would be, but hey, stranger things are happening in #thewordrightnow.
So, headphones on, Gin in hand and press play………………………
The Album opens up with “Never Before” with its pumping base line and shuffling dance beats. Before Tommy’s smooth–as–silk vocal slides in with the gentle strumming of acoustic guitar (both sitting on top of the dance–inspired base line and percussion) this track would sit quite comfortably on the Andy Weatherall produced Primal Scream record Screamadelica. Add in touches of The Stone Roses, The Charlatans and I’m almost head over heels already.
The title track “The Glow” carries on with the tone set by the opening track, but starts off with the driving wall of sound that reminds me of The Killers first two records; full of energy, melody and joy, and though I am only two tracks in, Tommy’s vocal is already on another level from the two previous records and musically the step up is palpable.
Then it’s “Silver”, the first single off the album, which has very much the feel of their first two records – a little more Indie. But this is a cracking track, it swoops and dips with the most beautiful melodies and harmonies. Three tracks in and its already apparent that this is a special record.
“Life Is A Game Of Changing”, the second single to be released from the album, is up next and this is the track that gives the most indication of where the band is going with this record and maybe beyond. It flips straight back to the days of trance and The Hacienda; it even has tinges of The Pet Shop boys, “but only the good bits”, layers of lush synths over pulsing, yearning beats; this is a real grower, I like it more every time I listen to it.
“Criminals” slows everything down a little, with a very clever kick-back chorus, the dance element is gone but it still connects with the rest of the record.
“Strangers” is up next. It’s slick and smooth but to be honest my least favourite track of the record. Standalone it’s a great tune, but it suffers from being surrounded by so many great tracks.
“Learning Alive” follows and it’s a builder. It starts slowly and is very stripped back, with an almost Lennon–esque feel with the vocal and piano arrangement. But then it builds and builds, layers on layer, until it reaches a massive crescendo. A very tender love song and the string arrangement on this track is quite beautiful.
“Hello Girlfriend” picks it all back up again with driving dirty/fuzzy guitars and its four on the floor back beat, soring chorus and again Tommy delivers vocally. This song is so catchy I was humming and singing it long after I had listened to the record for the first time.
“Appointment” slows it down again and Tommy’s vocal and lyrics shine through, sitting on top of Johnny Took’s acoustic guitar, before it starts to layer with angelic harmonies, booming kick drum and an escalating wall of guitars.
“Round and Around” Starts off as a jangly pop song before dirty overdriven guitars lead you into a big bombastic chorus, and that slight 80’s feel is back again with synths sitting underneath it all, and I’m not sure why but I hear little bits that remind me of Duran Duran and can’t say where or why but it keeps popping in my head as I’m listening. It’s just a feel thing, I think.
“Cobracaine”, the last track of the record, takes in everything that’s gone before, driving guitars, synths pumping beats, soaring vocals – a melting pot of emotion that builds even more, and when you think it can’t give any more, they add another layer. What a great way to finish a great record.
In my humble opinion The DMA’S have a record here in “The Glow” that deserves to really launch the band to the next level and beyond. It contains track after track of top quality songs; a perfect blend of Indie, dance and house/trance beats, song–writing, amazing and truly elegant vocals, brilliant musicianship, beautifully recorded and amazingly produced. I know it most likely reads like I’m maybe going overboard but I truly loved this record and can’t wait to have it in my record collection… 10 out of 10.
Pre-order here: https://dmas.lnk.to/theglowFA
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