An alternative rock revival has been few and far between since Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines and the rest stole the limelight in the mid 00’s. A feeling of a hopeful rock revival was ignited but quickly diminished away in the form of exciting newbies in recent times; Royal Blood, Catfish & The Bottlemen and Blossoms come to mind albeit their impact never fully materialised. Those three aforementioned groups are as brilliant live as they sound on their respective albums, though neither seriously blew me away nor did they start a rock insurgency which many anticipated.
The common comparison’s made between The Bottlemen’s debut album “The Balcony” and Oasis’ first masterful release “Definitely Maybe” has often been suggested as the Welsh band’s undoing; which I initially agreed with, until I discovered the DMA’s. Arguably a carbon copy of ’90s Oasis with their relatable lyrics and almost laughable antiquated dress sense, I still quickly became infatuated. After attending a DMA’s gig at Manchester Academy during their first UK tour; I knew they were something special, the electric atmosphere they created was outstanding.
It isn’t simply the music though which sparks a phenomenon, it’s the manifestation of community and affirmation. It’s still hyperbolic to compare DMA’s with Oasis right now but the sense of relatability people had with the Gallagher’s is present with the Sydney Trio. The DMA’s gig at Manchester Academy could go down as legendary if they achieve stardom, ticket prices went sky high after Liam Gallagher tweeted this;
Thank god I didn’t sell my ticket, even though I was offered 8x what I paid for it.
It’s pivotal to look past those Brit-Pop associations though, whilst there’s an army of bucket hats and harringtons wearing fans – the sense of unity among the following trumps all. There hasn’t been a decisive age demographic at the gigs I’ve attended, and although a myriad suggest nostalgic elements have lead to the DMA’s gaining popularity, I think Gerry Cinnamon squanders that concept as he is also contributing massively to the potential “alternative” revival which makes the point redundant – unless there’s an influential ’90s band I’ve missed that sing in a heavy Scottish accent?
Hills End triggered interest but For Now really put them on the map. From “Warsaw” reminding us of The Cure, “Delete/Step Up The Morphine” being reminiscent of Oasis’ legendary B-Sides’ whilst also showing their versatility by doing justice to Cher’s “Believe” – the DMA’s have created a sound embedding deep rooted inspiration from legendary Brit-Pop and post 00’s rock outfits. The Stone Roses spawned a generation of bucket hat fanatics, Oasis built upon that with their loyal contemporary Beatles’ galvanized following, the DMA’s are manifesting a poised image combining all the pasts artists’ ideologies that influenced their creation. The fact that their target audience tend to also love the bands that have created this hybridity only contributes to the overall infatuation.
Tommy O’dell as the lead vocalist possesses every convention required to be a quality front-man. His charismatic performances echo a unique personification to his audience; he enjoys himself as much on stage as the crowd do as they belt out Johnny Took’s lyrics back at them.
Within the crowd there wasn’t a sense of entitlement of who discovered them first, there was however a refreshing feeling of vanguard privilege as the entire crowd found gratification within each other as they sang along to their new favourite band. A discovery of an ingrained feeling from that enervated ’90s sound which much of the crowd had been craving for in years gone by.
Even if they are named after mathematical operations, the DMA’s could be the next big thing – get on board.