Album review: DMA’S – The Glow ★★★★☆

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SYDNEY trio DMA’S are back with their third album, The Glow, releasing on July 10.

The band – comprised of Tommy O’Dell, Matt Mason and Johnny Took – have managed to sidestep the third-album hoodoo that many have suffered in the past, providing an expansive, arena-ready set of songs that are just as suited to dingy dance floors as they are to packed stadiums.

The Glow album artwork. Credit: Ian Cheek Press

Compared with their previous albums, Hills End and For Now, their latest effort weaves together an elaborate tapestry of old and new with notably more electronic influences. This is in large part down to the involvement of the award-winning producer, Stuart Price, who has previously worked with Dua Lipa, The Killers and Madonna to name but a few.

The result is a euphoric set of songs which owes more to the sounds of New Order synth and Primal Scream psych than previous comparisons to the likes of Oasis, keeping things fresh and fans delighted.

The album bursts to life on the opening track Never Before, with frontman O’Dell’s vocals effortlessly complementing a bassline that would make The Stone Roses’ Mani jealous, before flowing into the eponymous The Glow where Price’s influence really starts to shine.

Next up is Silver, which starts with a question, ‘did you feel like heaven?’, which, if you didn’t already, you certainly will by the time the question is asked again and the mellow guitar makes way for the thump of the drums and another fantastic bassline. It’s little wonder that this track currently has the most Spotify streams of the four singles currently released from the album.

Johnny Took (left), Tommy O’Dell (middle) and Matt Mason (right). Credit: Ian Cheek Press

Life Is a Game of Changing then erupts with arguably the biggest sounding song of the album, evoking the spirit of 90’s trance with energetic drums, explosive synth melodies, wispy guitar and euphoric overlapping vocals to produce a ripe-for-remix tune that will have you struggling to stay still.

The fifth song, Criminals, comes in with another heavily electronic track. The vocals sadly seem more electrocuted than electrifying at times, but it is an enjoyable listen nonetheless and O’Dell’s voice is given the room it deserves again in the next two tracks, Strangers and Learning Alive, a pair of toe-tappers which are markedly more natural sounding than the preceding songs.

Hello Girlfriend then enters the scene with a jolt of rock’n’roll energy, exuding the kind of musical chemistry between O’Dell, Mason and Took that fans are used to and will be sure to have crowds singing, and jumping, along with catchy lyrics and dramatic instrumental pauses.

I feel strange ’cause they took apart my brain

Now I’m thinking, but the head just feels the same

Hello Girlfriend – DMA’S

Appointment starts off relatively subdued before building itself up to a satisfying conclusion and giving way to possibly the closest thing DMA’S have come to grunge in Round & Around while maintaining the expansive soundscape found throughout the album.

Last, and certainly not least, is Cobracaine. The electronic sound returns with a darker, intense yin to Life Is a Game of Changing’s yang with filtered, hypnotic vocals and ebbing melodies which grow as the album comes to a fantastic conclusion.

★★★★☆

The Glow will be released on July 10 and is available for pre-order and pre-save now.

Featured image credit: Ian Cheek Press

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