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.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, CD reviews, Astralwerks,  More more >
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