If you were planning a trip to your local B&Q this weekend – don’t bother – home improvements can wait. Instead, buy a copy of DMA‘s debut album Hills End, go to your bedroom, listen – and just like Johnny, Matt & Tommy – get inspired and start writing your own songs. This is the only kind of DIY that’s worth attempting. Your results won’t be as polished as the tracks this Newtown trio have produced, but the your attempt will last longer than the cheap MDF shelf you considered placing above your bed.
Anyway, enough about shelves. DMA are a nostalgic garage-pop band whose songs are authentic and catchy-as-hell. ‘Timeless’ gets the ball rolling on Hills End, with its infectious rhythm and stellar vocals. It bursts into ‘Lay Down’, another glorious garage rock tune. This one is best listened to from a horizontal angle, preferably in the sunshine. It will be hard to keep still, but you’ll lose yourself momentarily in the solid sound of drums and jubilant guitar. Debut single ‘Delete’ is a charming acoustic-led tune laced with lonely romantic images, and ‘So We Know’ is similar in style: “I can’t be certain that they’re pulling the curtain on me”. ‘Blown Away’ is also cut from the same, fine cloth. If you’re a fan of Alex Turner’s dreamy songs on the Submarine soundtrack, all three of these tunes will soothe your ear drums.
‘Too Soon’ springs to life with more of DMA’s contagious rhythm – “When you’re on your own, do you break down? Are you coming up too soon?” – whilst the buoyant guitar on ‘In The Moment’ will hold you up, even if you’re “going under”. ‘Step Up The Morphine’ has a lively-yet-lethargic feel to it, with casual, misanthropic thoughts interspersed throughout the song: “Sometimes I wonder why we bother at all”. The trippy guitar and super steady percussion on ‘Melbourne’ makes for a painless, pure listen, whilst ‘Play It Out’ is the final song on Hills End, fuelled by more of DMA’s guts and enthusiasm.
If you’re a fan of Brit-pop, garage rock, or if you’re looking for something good to stretch your limbs too; buy DMA’s Hills End. It’s a cracking debut, and a capital listen.
Hills End is released on 26th February via Infectious Records.