When DOM hit the WFNX Clambake a fortnight from tomorrow (ahem, June 16), the Worcester post-whatever-pop heroes will have a slew of fresh new jams to blast out onto Lansdowne Street. A bit unexpectedly, Astralwerks is dropping a new Dom EP, Family of Love, on August 9, roughly six months after it polished up and re-released the band’s 2010 breakthrough debut Sun Bronzed Greek Gods. And there’s more wet hot Dom action on the way, as a third EP is promised later in the year. Who is this, the Beta Band?
“I want to pump out as many records as possible, and actually make a difference in pop music,” Dom, the dude, relays in a presser. “No matter how ADD it all sounds, the more I write, the more I really wanna do this thing.”
It’s a bit unfair to call a second EP a make-or-break record, but in sense, with all the buzz and praise heaped on the band over the past 12 months, this kinda feels like one. However, if there's any pressure to live up to the hype, it isn't apparent on Family of Love. After Dom wrote and recorded most of the debut record in bedrooms using beat-up guitars, old Casios, and Fruity Loops, this time he’s upgraded to a proper studio session with Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Bjork). The band experimented with everything from a “dial tone solo” to a Fun Machine keyboard, pretending “we were Brian Wilson or some shit,” notes Dom.
Almost remarkably, the sincerity and DIY appeal of the first record isn’t lost with the second. Family of Love is an incredibly strong five-track effort, a bit more “Burning Bridges” than “Living In America,” with songs that suggest rather than demand, but maintain Dom’s glossy, candy-coated summertime sound. “Happy Birthday Party” is maybe the strongest link to the old material, the yawning synth-line stomping along much like the band’s previous hits, a detraction (if it all) in that it all sounds a bit dated, a bit late-2k9-ish. But the bouncy “Telephone,” with its bare-bones, almost amateurish keyboard loop, and upbeat, fast-tracked “Damn” show off the more bleached-out, guitar-based party sound created by last year’s stand-outs “Bochicha” and “Jesus.” And that's not only the real blueprint for the Dom sound, but where the honey lies.
The loose, lo-fi pop-overdose closing track, “Some Boys,” features daydreaming ‘60s-washed guest vocals from Dom’s friend Emma, who admits though song that all the boys pretty much just want to fuck her. “I thought her lyrics were really great, so I wanted to make a song out of it and share it with the world," says the Dommer. It’s one of the more memorable tracks of 2011.
Catch Dom along with Foster The People, Young the Giant, Buffalo Tom, Cold War Kids, Noah And The Whale, the Sheila Divine and the Naked And Famous at the WFNX Clambake, June 16 on Lansdowne Street and the House of Blues.
Full Family of Love tracklisting and summer dates:
Family of Love EP:
2. Family of Love
4. Happy Birthday Party
5. Some Boys
Dom Summer Dates
June 16: Boston, MA - WFNX Clam Bake
June 17: Brooklyn, NY - Northside Festival
August 5 and 6: Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
August 12: Bangor, ME - KahBANG Festival
August 26 and 27: St Louis, MO - LOUfest