Massachusetts four-piece Dom returns with another EP of sunny synth-pop. At five songs Family of Love is even shorter than their 2010 debut Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, but is also more potent. One of the most notable improvements is the production. The textures are much crisper and leave little to be desired; something that would be harder to say about their debut. And despite the brevity, the band is really able to showcase some diversity in sound across their five song/sixteen minute record.
At first listen I admittedly was not sold on most of the songs. The opening track “Telephone” features a solo on the dialpad of a phone, which felt kitschy and annoying more than anything else. Through repeated listenings though, the real feel of the EP started to sink in. This is a band making fun, laid back, and above all else catchy late summer tunes, and they succeed quite well at that.
The textures record ooze summer and late August feels like the perfect setting. The middle three tracks, “Family of Love” “Damn” and “Happy Birthday Party” really stand out as the strongest on the record. On these three Dom (both the name of the band and the name of the front man) and crew are able to match hazy grooves with hooks for a sound that despite the effortless atmosphere is really becoming of their pop sensibilities. “Damn” in particular exemplifies their textural catchiness that lends itself extremely well to summer drives at dusk.
The closing track “Some Boys” features other band member Emma (they all go by first name only) as a vocalist and acts as a nice closer for the album. It’s poppy and a bit sing-songy, but its backed with a driven bass sound that’s right out of Death From Above 1979. This song, like “Telephone” took more than one listen for me to get into, again because of the overriding poppyness, but as with the whole EP, after listening more closely there is a lot to Dom than their prowess in writing a great hook.
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P-G-1/2
Key Tracks: “Damn” and “Family of Love”.
Recommended if you like: Smith Westerns, MGMT, and Girls.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!