They're so no-fi post-Drums neo-chill, you wonder if they formed with the express intention of being touted as SXSW's buzz band
The lineup: Dom (lead vocals, guitar), Bobby (drums), Erik (bass), Cosmo (guitar).
The background: Around this time of year we get inundated with messages on our various Apple products (oops, sorry, commenters on this music industry article thread ) about how such-and-such an act is the buzz band at SXSW. This time, though, we can believe it. Dom are so round-about-now, so no-fi post-Drums neo-chill, you begin to wonder if they formed with the express intention of being touted as the buzz band of the 2011 SXSW festival. They've got all the elements ? ramshackle Girls/Smith Westerns guitars, a Best Coast-style indie take on 60s girl group pop ? in such perfect balance, you'd swear they were a bunch of A&R types having a joke at the industry's expense.
The sense of are-these-guys-for-real? continues when you hear their back-story, which is either pure hokum or the bare bones of a great documentary. Apparently, the eponymous Dom was taken into foster care aged eight because, of all her six kids, his mum liked him least, mainly due to his red hair. He got into a lot of trouble before, as his burgeoning legend has it, "breaking out of an abusive system and into the DIY community", which sounds incredibly dramatic even though we have no idea what the DIY community is. He thereafter drifted in and out of boarding houses, crashed on sofas and took dime-an-hour jobs before falling in with a bunch of drug dealers who showed him how to make money selling cocaine. He saved up enough to buy his first guitar in 2006. Since then he has written a porn film based on Jersey Shore called Jersey Whores, which he says is "kind of like the show on MTV, only with banging and a lot more attractive people". Oh, and he formed Dom, with which outfit he fully intends to become "the Madonna of garage rock".
Now, none of this would be worth a second glance let alone an investigation into its veracity were it not for the quality of Dom's music, which is pretty high, especially if you happen to rate tinny, rattly C86-ish indie overlaid with chillwavey synths and girly vocals drenched in delay. Hold on, that is a girl singing those songs, isn't it? Turns out it's not ? it's Dom using a falsetto or a soprano or whatever it is that it takes to make him sound like the quintessential indie female. We haven't met him, but we imagine he makes Darwin Deez look like a jock. The EP is called Sun Bronzed Greek Gods. Funny.
His voice works terrifically on his songs about taking ecstasy to get over a failed relationship (Jesus) and championing the USA (Living In America). The latter is blazingly tuneful surf-pop indie that is wowing the blogs and might, with a prevailing wind, break out nationally over there - which would be something, because it sounds like Ariel Pink fronting the Archies. Rude As Jude is gorgeous, chillwave produced by a four-piece band rather than a laptop synth-boy. Bochicha is the generic Pains of Being Vivian Girls one. Burn Bridges is like something well-known but half-remembered from 1987 that might have appeared on a TV soundtrack or a film. And Beth is fuzzy as hell but features every heart-aching chord sequence in the book, and the book is My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize.
The buzz: "Sun Bronzed Greek Gods sounds like a Greatest Hits. Surprisingly, it's Dom's first effort to date, a lo-fi pop album of dangerously high caliber."
The truth: Folks, it's this year's Black Kids.
Most likely to: Appeal to Alan McGee.
Least likely to: Appeal to Snooki, the Situation et al.
What to buy: Sun Bronzed Greek Gods is out now on EMI.
File next to: Girls, Smith Westerns, Best Coast, Surfer Blood.
Monday's new band: Austra.