They sport bucket hats, world-class sneers and peak ’90s-era clothing choices, not to mention harbor an endearing and obvious love for all sounds Britpop. But Australian three-piece outfit DMA’s insist they have no grand plans to resurrect the ghosts of the brothers Gallagher (even if those guys aren’t dead yet.)
“I think it’s just good pop music that has great melodies,” said Johnny Took, DMA’s’ guitarist, regarding the music of the second British Invasion. “We just enjoy the honest, vulnerable kind of songwriting that is found in Britpop. We’re not trying to start any sort of revival or anything, but it is nice that is has sparked some interest in these bands that we admire, especially back in Australia.”
DMA’s seem wholly out of place and time with their devotion to the likes of Oasis, Blur, and the Stone Roses, particularly in the United States, where Britpop never quite reached the masses like it did in other parts of the globe. As a result, it would seem that the three-piece group would face an uphill battle here in the states, if not for this simple truth: DMA’s writes absolutely peerless pop songs.
Their debut LP, Hill’s End, is filled with songs about devotion and heartbreak, and it’s imbued with melodies surely to leave you humming along by album’s end. For a group of guys who look ready for a brawl at the local pub, DMA’s know to write some truthful, heart-on-your-sleeve tunes.
And while the group obviously doesn’t shy away from their influences, their musical muscles stretch beyond Britpop. Album opener “Timeless” has the same kind of sinewy guitar work mastered by The Smiths’ Johnny Marr and songs like “Step Up the Morphine” show a devotion to the desert slowcore elements of alternative-rock groups like Mazzy Star.
At the centerpiece of the album is “Delete,” a gorgeous, slow-building ballad about standing up for your girl against all the doubters, a tune that is shamelessly sentimental and incredibly refreshing. Singer Tommy O’Dell (seriously — even their names are the most Britpop thing ever), pleads “Don’t delete my baby/Don’t defeat her now,” as the song swells from a simple acoustic guitar to a lush, atmospheric epic, continually adding gravitas as it develops. Even the most skeptic fan of Britpop should love this song.
The band’s unapologetic devotion toward their sonic vision seems to be winning over fans stateside. DMA’s played at Outside Lands Festival last year and are headed to Coachella this month. Before their appearance in the California desert, they’ll play a gig at the Independent on April 15. Took said that audiences are starting to grow for the band, who are now on their second full-fledged tour of the states.
“It’s been amazing so far,” said Took. “We had our EP out last year, but I think for fans to really buy into what you’re doing, you need a full-length album. Since we released Hill’s End, we’ve seen some really great crowds at our shows here in the states. I think we’re all just really enjoying the moment.”
The DMA’s, The Trims
April 15, 2016
9 p.m., $13/$15 (21+)