Sunday, February 28, 2016

Album Review :: DMA'S - Hills End


Hills End

February 26 2016 (Infectious)


Words: Alison Mack

The debut album from Sydney's DMA'S trio has come after a long two years since they released their self-titled five-track debut EP. And to say that 'Hills End' hasn't been much anticipated would be an understatement.

Heralded as Australia's Oasis (Oasis producer Mark “Spike” Stent takes mixing credits in the album) through their Britpop style swagger and swerve, the three - songwriter and producer Johnny Took (guitar), Tommy O’Dell (vocals), Matt Mason (guitar) - they have steadily increased their profile over the last year, not just in their home territory, but with their recent UK visit and the success of 'Delete', abroad as well.

EP track 'Delete' features here, as does the infectious 'Play It Out' and early single 'So We Know' (re-recorded here to bring in a climatic wall of distorted guitars) but overall there's a heavier, rockier feel. Opener 'Timeless', for one, conveys an upbeat rhythm of driven guitars and free-flowing textures braced beside O’Dell's vocalising lyrics of failed romance, belting out the line, “Couldn’t make you happy/I wouldn’t know you from someone else”, and last year's single 'Lay Down' is the pop-rock dancer of the pack ; these, however, are juxtaposed against acoustic ballads like 'So We Know' and the slow-burning melancholic 'Step Up The Morphine' (written by Took after his grandmother passed away: “You are the silence in my brain/We built a kingdom in the rain/I think we’re getting better/Sometimes I wonder why we bother at all”), 'In The Moment' and 'Blown Away'.

But 'Delete' is still perhaps the song that gets under your skin like a burrowing worm and won't let go. Can anyone not help but swoon over that tingling chorus line of “let it all out”, as it winds over a bank of distorted guitars. Despite their undoubtedly having more than one big song in their musical arsenal, this surely is the anthemic DMA'S definer.

'Hills End' is one mightily impressive debut, beautifully constructed and simply just bonza.

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