DMA's - For Now Album Review



Easily one of the most bold and ambitious bands in the Australian music scene right now, the DMA's possess an array of strengths and talents that very few in the current day and age of music can offer. They are the shining light in a dark tunnel of generic singles, they are the front-runners leading the flurry of artists in the renaissance of alt-rock in Australia. And it comes in the form of Brit-rock, a sound I've spoken about before as being brought back to life through the threesome from Sydney. Say what you want about being copycats or wannabes, these guys have the goods, and this sophomore effort is beyond good, it is bloody sublime.


It kicks off with For Now the title track that is bombastic, loud, and above all else expertly produced; like every single track on this album. It provides the backdrop for what the DMA's second effort is all about; new beginnings, letting go of the old, embracing the new. From a musical stand point it is all about maturing, maturing in sound with a much more cleaner and refined sound, less grainy than Hills End, and discovering new sounds with more experimentation with synths and electronic drum beats as I'll discuss later. The scene is set in these first three minutes, and the standard doesn't plateau, it improves and grows. Lead single Dawning is vintage DMA's gorgeous acoustics accompanied by Oasis-esque screaming electrics and pounding percussion, with a hook that will forever be stuck in my head, "Cause in the Dawning, you will wait for, for her warning, she was warning", it's so damn catchy.


The follow up is a track we are yet to hear, the first "non-single", it's Time and Money. This is the new DMA's through and through, with a much more upbeat sound and vibe with thick guitars and bass complimenting a soothing tambourine and drum bass. Tommy Odell's voice swooning over the beat, it is incredibly obvious he has worked hard to improve his already incredible vocals, to become less of an "Oasis rip-off" to become his own. The nifty guitar solo followed by build up and outro is a great finale to the track with Odell's repetition of "Get up now" and "Light up now" is poetry. In the Air following this incredible tune is a one-two punch, what more can actually be said about this ballad? The guitars, percussion, slow moving pace, with dreamlike riffs alongside Odell's vox is tantalising, and is definitly the standout track in an album full of stand-out tracks.


What follows these four incredible tracks all worthy of being singles are tracks that are a foray into new and old territory for the three-piece. The End embodies the Rolling Stones, with groove, vibe and late-night swagger encompased by filthy basslines, screeching guitars and a set of bongos that will get everyones feet moving. Warsaw is a slightly more standard DMA's track that is much softer in sound than what has come before it, with light production and sounds that breaks up the album for the half-way point. Do I Need You Now? Is a dark and brooding track with electronic drum beats, a first for the lads. The sound apart from Odell's vocals is almost Arctic Monkey's like, with the new ground in electronic beats.


After three tracks that break into new sounds, the boys return to their roots with Break Me, a visceral and intense anthem which is a favourite of mine in the album. The strumming guitars and echoing vocals all come to a head when the screeching guitar riff plays out in the latter half of the track, it's stadium rock at it's finest. The melodies Odell harnesses in this track are incredibly unique and catchy it should be added, I find myself humming this tune a lot. The back end of For Now begins with Lazy Love, a beautiful love song that is reminiscent of She bangs the drum by the Stone Roses, not a bad thing at all. Tape Deck Sick and Health are both tracks that make use of the electronic drum machine, and have Odell's range stretched. Tape Deck offers a surf-rock type beat and guitar that has yet to be seen by the DMA's, it was wonderfully mastered, especially the final 50 seconds which sounded as if they were played through a tape deck.


Closer Emily Whyte is a 'lighters raised', crowd-swaying, tears flowing track. "Emmmmmillllyyyy Whyte" Tommy whines in the chorus over a gorgeous chord progression on the acoustic and dreamy guitar riff that the DMA's are known for. It's a perfect closure to what is a near perfect album.


The DMA's have not just created an album that is a b-side compilation of what wasn't on Hill End, they've developed their sound, adjusted and tweaked minor details to make these 12 tracks feel fresh and brand new. It's instantly recognisable that it is the DMA's but it isn't a re-hash of what has already been created, it's a step forward in a new direction. They are shaking off the tag of "Oasis wannabe's", paving their own way in the Brit-rock world. For Now is a beautifully crafted album that will be loved and listened to on repeat by many, for myself it is a near perfect 47 minutes of what is fastly becoming Australia's most exciting band. 4.5/5

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