Dom | Family of Love

Astralwerks (2011)
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  August 3, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars


It may be unfair to call a young band's second EP a make-or-break record, but with the buzz and praise heaped on Dom since last year's Burning Mill Records release of Sun Bronzed Greek Gods (and its polished-up Astralwerks re-boot in February) this kinda feels like one. Yet if there's any pressure to live up to the hype, it isn't apparent on Family of Love, a new five-track pit stop before a third EP drops later this year. Whatever Astralwerks' plan (is the album model dead?), Family of Love does re-illustrate that Dom (the person) oozes a sharp pop acumen. After writing and recording most of his debut record in Worcester bedrooms with DIY sweat,beat-up paisley guitars, old Casios, and computer programs, this time he's upgraded to a proper studio session with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Björk), experimenting with a "dial tone solo" and Fun Machine keyboard. Almost remarkably, the sincerity of the first record is retained. Family of Love is strong, with songs that suggest rather than demand, but nonetheless maintain Dom's glossy, candy-coated summertime sound. "Happy Birthday Party" is the strongest link to the old hits; the menacing synth-line stomps along much like "Living in America," a deficit in that it sounds a bit dated, a bit forced, and doesn't fit in here. 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 the band is perfecting. The loose, lo-fi pop-overdose closing track, "Some Boys" — a strange cocktail of Cults' "Go Outside" and Maxine Nightingale's 1975 R&B/disco stalwart "Right Back Where We Started From" — features daydreamy girl-group guest vocals from Dom's friend Emma, who cutely concedes through song that all the boys just want to fuck her. After digesting Family of Love, everybody will still want a piece of the Dommer as well.
Related: Photos: Budweiser presents WFNX Clambake on Lansdowne Street, Catching up with the world of Dom, Trans Am | What Day Is It Tonight? Trans Am Live, 1993 - 2008, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, CD reviews, Astralwerks,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE PRESETS' MORNING-AFTER PARTY  |  October 18, 2012
    For the Sydney-based Presets' third album, Pacifica , the attitude shifts from night to day, because after every party comes a new morning.
  •   WHAT'S F'N NEXT: NIKI AND THE DOVE  |  September 25, 2012
    Of all the near-perfect things to emerge out of Sweden over the past few decades, from IKEA’s meatballs to Peter Forsberg’s playoff beard, perhaps the country’s most impressive import has been electro-pop.
  •   FOLLOWING JULIA EASTERLIN'S BEAT  |  September 18, 2012
    Long accustomed to repeating herself, Julia Easterlin is finally done explaining.
  •   LOCAL POP RECORDS TO LOOK FOR THIS AUTUMN  |  September 24, 2012
    The four quick cuts on the Boston quartet Pretty & Nice's Us You All We embody what guitarist Holden Lewis calls an endless-summer mentality. "I think our songs got happier," he says.
    More than 30 bands and artists will perform live next week across multiple venues to raise money for the victims of the August 23 house fire at 95 Columbia Street in Cambridge, also known as "The Danger Zone" and "Columbia House" — a welcoming space that housed a dozen creative types.

 See all articles by: MICHAEL MAROTTA