Album Review: DMA’s ‘Hills End’
After breaking through the international scene with only a single EP released, there were always big things expected from Sydney boys DMA’s. With a nonsensical band name and a love at first listen sound, the three lads worked long and hard building up a catalogue of bangers that would live up to the expectations fans have for them. ‘Hills End’ is fast paced and filled with life and heavy sounds, but it’s that nostalgic 90’s Brit-pop sound makes the record just so irresistibly addictive. A fan pleaser and a just a gosh darn fun time, ‘Hills End’ certainly won’t disappoint.
“We see much more direction and purpose from these tracks, and rather than being a collection of songs we can feel intention. It’s a pretty nice feeling.”
Throwing you into the deep end from the very start, Timeless doesn’t ease you into the new and improved DMA’s. A slight reverb pulls you back before lunging into a galloping track that sports everything good about the boys. There is so much going on in this track, but their ability to bring it all together in such tight synchronicity is a testament to how much the band have grown together. The gorgeous summer guitar riff drizzles beautifully over the track and is a track that shouts Hottest 100 candidate.
The inclusion of a single as big as Delete ran a risky move, putting this writer in a “will the album peak with the song we’ve already heard?” mood. But what DMA’s have so successfully created is a solid body of work that despite hosting previously penned tracks, has repurposed those songs for the record. The boys have really taken their DIY attitude to a professional realm. Recording the album for the most part in the flat of guitarist Johnny Took, they certainly haven’t lost that ‘at home’ charm that grounded their tracks. We see more direction and purpose from these tracks, and rather than being a collection of songs we can feel intention. It’s a pretty nice feeling.
Blown Away, along with Straight Dimensions and The Switch are a charming triplet of songs that pull back the heavy hitting sound we become used to in the record. From jamming out to a chilled-out groove, the tracks show off a vulnerability to the trio. Blown Away definitely sports an emotional side to the band. With smooth groove driving the tune, lyrics like “How can I protect you/When I’m lost in the crowd” cut through the track, showing off that depth of lyricism they have inking that pen of theirs.
“They were boys with their EP, but ‘Hills End’ shows they have grown into men.”
But don’t worry, they don’t leave you on a downer, the record quickly picks up and goes out with a joyous bang. Play It Out, is an apt name for the perfect track to finish a record. Loud and danceable, the track will inject that energy back into you before leaving you on a high.
There are no real surprises when it comes to ‘Hills End’, but there really is no need for one. DMA’s show off their growth in musicianship with each track, polishing their rocks to make diamonds. The remastering of the smash ballad Delete is a testament to this. They were boys with their EP, but ‘Hills End’ shows they have grown into men. The debut record that fires out catchy tunes and festival bangers. So whether you’re a fan, or looking for a new record to blast, ‘Hills End’ is as loud as it is fun. You won’t go wrong on this one.
DMA’s Australian Tour
FRI 27 MAY
The Zoo, Brisbane
FRI 3 JUNE
Fat Controller, Adelaide
SAT 4 JUNE
Rosemount Hotel, Perth
FRI 10 JUNE
Metro Theatre, Sydney
SAT 11 JUNE
Corner Hotel, Richmond
SUN 12 JUNE
Corner Hotel, Richmond
Get Tickets HERE