REVIEW | DMA’S – HILLS END (LP)
It feels as though in the last two years that DMA’s have been everywhere, which is why Hills End may surprise many as being the debut LP offering by the Sydney trio. Partnering up with the musical powerhouse I OH YOU back in 2014, the band have previously released their self titled EP to rave reviews. Now comes the time for a full length release and what you can imagine will be a massive 2016 for the band.
Album opener ‘Timeless’ explodes through the speakers, with lead singer Tommy O’Dell’s vocals taking central focus. The song is impressively layered like most DMA’s songs, with the guitars cutting in sharp and steering the song to it’s conclusion. ‘Delete’ makes a surprising arrival at track 3 and while I can admit it’s an incredible song, it’s inclusion on an LP two years after it’s initial release is somewhat questionable. Nevertheless, the build up in the song is worth capturing on a full length release and serves as a reminder to the listener of the band’s impeccable ability of writing a song.
‘Too Soon’ boasts a huge chorus that is reminiscent of some of the best guitar rock from early 90’s Britain, while ‘In The Moment’ begins at a slow pace while building up to the chorus that feels a little familiar to some of the earlier tracks on the album. ‘So We Know’ changes things up and features some of the strongest lyrics on the album. The song goes from acoustic to electric in classic DMA’s fashion towards the end, but the sentiment makes me a little less resentful over the fact that they’ve sped things up again.
Seeing the track name ‘Melbourne’ made me feel slightly threatened, what do a group of guys based in Sydney have to say about my beloved hometown? Since the song doesn’t seem to explicitly be about the city it’s unlikely to ignite the infamous Sydney vs Melbourne rivalry. ‘Blown Away’ and ‘The Switch’ serve as a good pairing in terms of track listing, with the more mellow instrumentation allowing for the lyrics shine. Album closer ‘Play It Out’ ends on the strongest note you could possibly want for your debut album, boasting a chorus that will inevitably find it’s way into your head to play on a constant loop.
You’d imagine that the band would be feeling a little nervous prior to releasing their first album given the hype they’ve received. Listening to Hills End it’ll be obvious to any listener that the band have clearly found a formula that works for them. The album certainly delivers but falls short of doing something new and exciting for the band’s overall sound. Perhaps it was the expectation for them to come up with something new, but if bands of a similar vein are anything to go by, I’m sure we’ll be hearing a more experimental DMA’s in the future.
By Holly Pereira / @pseudoholly