AU ABROAD

Live Review: DMA’s + The Creases + Archers - Rocket Bar, Adelaide (09.10.14)

In the past few months, DMA's have achieved more than most young bands dream of achieving over the course of a few years. From being signed to I OH YOU to playing Splendour In The Grass, the journey of this Sydney trio thus far has to be what Hilary Duff was referring to when she said, "Hey now, hey now, this is what dreams are made of". Making their first appearance in Adelaide last Thursday night at Rocket Bar, these Britpop bandits were eager to prove that their sudden popularity is more than just a matter of dumb luck.

First up was local alt-rock quintet, Archers. Whilst their heavy, mildly emo-inflected sound was a little incompatible with the strong 90s vibes of the subsequent acts, these Adelaide boys really proved to this first-time spectator why they're currently one of the best bands coming out of South Australia.

Driven by lamenting vocals and some ferocious, genre-spanning guitar work, each of their hearty tunes translated excellently live and felt like a direct reflection of the amount of hard work they had put into crafting them. They may not be as trendy as some of their contemporaries, but Archers' jugular-hitting brand of rock and laudable attention-to-detail was certainly a refreshing sound.

Next up were breezy Brisbane rockers, The Creases. Wearing influences such as My Bloody Valentine and The Cure proudly on their denim sleeves, this four piece attracted a solid crowd with their simple melodies, lusciously fuzzy guitar tones and contagious rhythms that would make even the gloomiest of teens tap their feet.

Whilst their sound is not overly original or complex, I have a feeling these boys are on to something good. Upbeat tracks like "Static Lines" and "Gradient" boasted some pretty top-notch melodies and induced just the right amount of nostalgia. With a few more gigs under their belt, The Creases could become another darling of the Australian music scene.

Speaking of nostalgia… finishing off the night was the much-anticipated set of DMA's. Decked out in baggy tees, blue jeans and other 90s-inspired items (yes, one of them was wearing a bucket hat), these Sydney boys looked scarily like extras from Trainspotting. Instead of injecting heroin however, DMA's quickly had dopamine flowing through everyone's veins with the exuberant sound of "Feels Like 37".

Joined on stage by three touring members, DMA's were able to recreate their homage to Britpop to near perfection. From lead singer Tommy O'Dell's earnest cries, to Johnny Took's simple acoustic rhythms, to Matt Mason's impressionistic guitar licks – all the elements that make DMA's so loveable on record were there to be relished in their live show.

As expected, the major highlight of the evening came in the form of lead single "Delete". With the lights out and a few lighters out, an intangible nostalgic aroma began to fill the air and an urge to proudly sing along to this pensive number quickly overcame most of the crowd. Whilst it would be aggrandising to call "Delete" the next "Wonderwall", I can’t help but feel that the bittersweet mood DMA's evoked through this live rendition would be similar to that of hearing "Wonderwall" in the flesh.

Looking past their idiosyncrasies, DMA's show a lot of potential. Their melodies are simple yet strong and their live show does not favour energy over musical precision, or vice versa. If the hype machine is right and this Sydney trio really is the 'Next Oasis', then I urge you to see them as soon as possible. You know, before they turn into a bunch of cantankerous, self-involved musicians that would rather bicker on stage than play their hit songs.