DMAs, For Now - album review
Nothing really shows the sheer reach and success of 90s Britpop than an Aussie band paying homage to the sound of the era.
That's what DMAs do, a Sydney trio who at differing times plonk their guitars with the swagger of the Stone Roses, construct swooning choruses up there with Ocean Colour Scene and pluck the most Noel Gallagher-esque melodies out of their brainboxes.
That era's main strength was inclusion. The way people could unite behind a sound and ignore their unhappiness at life with a pint and a mass karaoke alongside like-minded giggers.
And this shows that. It has inner strength that lifts it well above a novelty album sounding like a men's club tribute to the bands of that era. And it also expands to include other 90s Brit bands who came later.
The soft approach to Health with its permeating drum beat and light vocals sounds like one of Oasis' softer secret hits, think Idler's Dream without the piano. And closer Emily Whyte follows a similar vein, but with vocals uplifting slightly for a soaringly emotive chorus that packs deceptive power.
Away from the heartfelt moments there is some real attitude that evokes images of Ian Brown slinking around the front of the stage. The opening title track does this most. It has anger in abundance in that funky cauldron of sound. This is maybe what Kasabian could have had if their career and tastes had trod a different path.
Do I Need You Now? continues this feel. While dance beats feature more predominantly here there is still enough passive aggressive tendencies to keep listeners on their toes, particularly in the chorus. It's more subtle.
And Warsaw is a light rock number with plenty going for it. Softer guitars accompany the vocals this time, with a beautifully sweet interlude in the middle to raise a smile. It's jangly guitar pop really more than that stereotypical vision of what Britpop was. But it still fits in nicely with the rest.
Even their fashion choices scream the era. And while it's maybe a more quaint look back at the decade, it is a welcome reminder of how good it could sound.
DMAs will appear at Birmingham's O2 Institute on Friday, May 25