The review cycle for the DMA’s second album essentially reads: “It may be called For Now, and it is – if ‘now’ was 1996.”
You have to feel for the aussie trio. The DMA’s have been pigeon-holed so thoroughly it’s a miracle they haven’t taken to bird seed. While that could be the fault of A&R trying to find an angle, or perhaps the gopnik visage, ’90s revivalists’ is a slogan that flits about the band wherever they go.
Sure, there’s a touch of Suede here, a dash of Oasis there. The chorus on ‘In The Air’ could sound like ‘Half a World Away’, if it was heard from very very far away.
However in the end the 90s influence is mostly cosmetic – namely the vocals cushioned in echo, which matches that characteristicly whimsical style synonymous with the decade. Some of the structures are similar too, but that’s unsurprising. They’re a white guitar band who write about girls and so it can’t be so shocking that a few chords sound familiar.
For Now is more than nostalgia fanfare – there are some really good tunes here, evenly sung by singer Thomas O’Dell, and energetically embellished by Matthew Mason and Johnny Took. There is an appealing blend of fuzz and splendour, dirty bass and heavenly synth pad. ‘Do I Need You Now’ may move along stiff programmed drums, but the riffs and chorus are full of catharsis. ‘For Now’ may evoke the chaos of Kasabian’s ‘Clubfoot’ – but the beat drops out, allowing acoustic strumming to break the clouds.
For Now is more than mere homage – this is a highly enjoyable rock album, and worthy of greater airplay.