Album Review

Family of Love EP

Family of Love EP

by Dom


Astralwerks
8.3 / 10
5th September 2011

Reviewed by Christopher Hunt


In the contemporary musical climate of astounding hype and ‘make or break’ releases, many lesser known artists are opting to release through the less pressured and less strained format of EPs. Teasing the public with only four songs a year keeps us ready and wanting more. This is exactly what American indie-pop group, DOM, have successfully achieved. When DOM dropped their debut summer-soaked EP in 2010, Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, the blogsphere stood up and took notice of their dreamy, lazy, yet astoundingly catchy pop sound. Eighteen months later we are treated to another excellent release from the Massachusetts outfit. Clocking in at less than seventeen minutes, the listener is treated to one of the most laid back, yet shamelessly danceable and poppy releases of 2011.

Like Sun Bronzed Greek Gods had its standout singles such as ‘Living in America’ and ‘Burn Bridges’, Family of Love has its own stock of pop gems that could slot into any trendy ‘Corona’ commercial, or be found on even the most avant-garde listener’s iPod. While Family of Love sounds like it was recorded in the same session as 2010’s Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, the detailed delicate touches of their newly employed producer, distinguished Nicholas Vernhes, are undeniably evident as he tweaks their rough sound into a much more refined mix. However, Vernhes still upholds DOMs ‘slacker’ DIY textures. This is the beauty of releasing through EPs and not forcing a debut LP: they give upcoming bands like DOM a ‘safe zone’ to play/write music they love to make while allowing for in-studio growth before releasing a dauntingly hyped and pressured full-length LP.

Vernhes’ influence is noticeable from the very first few beats of EP opener, ‘Telephone’. The crisp track opens with a snappy drum beat with woozy synths while DOM’s singer floats whispered vocals over the mix in what is one of the smoothest opening tracks of the year. The attention to detail is what was missed on Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, but DOM make up for it on Family of Love as the telephone-beep riff on ‘Telephone’ implies a more thought out studio plan this time round.

Album favourite, the youthfully titled ‘Damn’, takes the listener straight back to the adolescent trials and jeopardiaztions of growing up. The song touches on young love and loss with naive lyrics: “Hanging around like a ghost/Haunting the place we used to go/I don’t care about anyone else, I don’t care about anyone else I know”. Pop anthem, Happy Birthday Party, is an in-and-out party song. Synth blasts coupled blurred sensual vocals is an excellent track as the EP begins to wind down.

Family of Love EP is a very encouraging release for a very promising young band. Keeping true to your sound whilst allowing for artistic studio growth is sure to keep listeners engaged and desperate for more releases. Especially when the releases are this good.




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