If you have yet to learn about Dom, now’s as good of a time as any to start an investigation. Technically speaking, Dom is a band made of up of 3 guys, the frontman just so happening to have the same name as the band. You want Dom’s (the person) last name? You’re not going to get one because he chooses not to reveal it. At least his past is apparently a colorful one, involving foster homes and recreational drug use. The recreational drug use is more of a “now” thing than a foster home thing, and consider it more for creative inspiration than a legitimate addiction. He likes his weed, among other things. The guy is also remarkably charming and hilarious, so if you’ve got the opportunity to check out an interview with him, you won’t be bored by it. All of this has little bearing on the actual music the trio turns out, first earning a healthy dose of hype via the “Sun Bronzed Greek Gods” EP released last year. Those extremely lo-fi pop melodies were such earworms that Astralwerks caught wind of the band and signed them. Now, either because they’re lazy stoners that like playing it slow and steady or because they’re crazed perfectionists that refuse to release anything until it meets their overly high standards, Dom has their second EP out this week called “Family of Love”.
The difference between Dom’s first EP and the “Family of Love” EP is remarkable. The huge change is due to the fact that the band actually recorded this one in a studio rather than at home. The professional, glossy sound suits them well and avoids the distractions that shoddy quality often brings with it. The “Sun Bronzed Greek Gods” EP was so torn up that despite its youthful energy it remains a difficult listen, and hearing the new stuff makes the older material that much more pallid by comparison. That’s not to say the songwriting has improved, or even that the melodies are any more addictive, rather the clarity enhances the assets that have been present all along. Had their first EP been professionally recorded, one can only imagine how much better it might have been as a result.
As to the sound, a good way to describe it would be slacker pop. Light and airy, with a healthy dose of synths, there’s nothing really all that different on the “Family of Love” EP that we haven’t heard from Dom before. Of course you do get cool things like a telephone keypad solo on (naturally) “Telephone”, another small testament to the pure wit these guys approach their music with. Outside of the little quirks though, there’s not much on this EP that’s blatantly funny. The title track carries with it strong lyrics about what it means to have friends to rely on in times of hardship and struggle. Coming from the background that Dom does, he probably knows the value of friendship more than anyone. Other tracks deal with matters of the heart, like the closing “Some Boys”, which eschews the classic sentiment that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. And you’ve got one guess to try and figure out what “Happy Birthday Party” is all about.
At 5 tracks and just over 16 minutes, this EP is shorter than the “Sun Bronzed Greek Gods” EP by two tracks and three minutes. Yet despite the small reduction the “Family of Love” EP feels more cohesive and tighter than the last one, careful not to waste any time. It’s just a touch catchier too, making every listen as easy as a strong summer wind. So it would seem that Dom remains a band to watch, in spite of their rather meager output at the moment. If we get really lucky, maybe next time they’ll have enough of a work ethic to provide us with a legitimate full length album.