By Michael Upton | 13/07/2020


WITH their baseball caps, trainers and zipped-up trackie tops, DMAs could easily pass for 20-something football fans, and frontman Tommy O'Dell recently told Match of the Day spin-off MOTDx the Aussie indie trio are all massive Everton fans.

He said their gigs often had a joyous, communal togetherness, not unlike a football crowd (togetherness is in greater supply at Goodison Park than joy, in recent years), and it's easy to see how their often-euphoric music would have a bonding effect.

Building on the progress of 2016’s Hills End and 2018 follow-up For Now, new collection The Glow blends gorgeous melodies, catchy choruses and a hatful of hooks to signal DMAs’ star is rising.

They’ve been steadily moving up festival line-ups and were perched near the top of the Tramlines bill when it was revealed a little later than normal this spring.

Sadly, what could have been a triumphant outing in the sun at Hillsborough at the end of the month was put on hold after the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Fans will have to settle for playing The Glow to death - and that’s not a bad consolation prize.

Unashamedly throwing back to late 80s and early 90s dance and indie, the influences of the Stone Roses, Oasis, Happy Mondays and The Charlatans (see a theme developing here?) are clear - DMAs love a thumping bassline and a jangly guitar.

Their attitude and their tunes are equally infectious, leaving you itching to throw on a bucket hat and break out your best Bez-style grooves.

Never Before, with its distinctive, irresistible bass rumble, and the title track kick off the album in style, before the heart-achingly beautiful Silver and the pounding, beats-riddled Life is a Game of Changing take things up a level.

These are songs that beg to be bellowed by a devoted crowd in a sweaty club or a field with a sunset sheen.

That time will come – for now, jigging round in the garden will have to do The Glow will have to do.

Strangers, with its foot-tapping bassline, begins in classic mid-level Noel Gallagher territory, before the chorus heads somewhere much more interesting.

The comparatively-stripped-down Learning Alive, is a pretty, moving show of support and encouragement for a struggling partner or friend, its refrain insisting "we're getting better at life".

Indeed, if the album has a message it's to make the most of now and not worry about the future. Which seems pretty decent advice in these certain times.

There’s none of the petering out which can afflict initial promising albums, either.

Appointment is a moving, lovely inclusion, Round & Round is an enthusiastic indie stomper and Cobracaine brings things to a memorably melancholy yet engaging end.

And if you love your classic indie, I defy you not to hit repeat.