So this is the residual effect of blog hype. After building a speedy streak of buzz over the past year, Worcester's Dom have bombarded 2011 with a golden platter of new shit: a drugged-out remix with Gucci Mane, a new single collabo with Brooklyn's Cults, and the remaster/re-release treatment of last year's breakout EP, Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, all on the shoulders of Astralwerks' major-label dime. But it's hard to imagine the added promo push and studio-polish job bringing Dom to new ears. Those who should have heard the EP indeed heard it last year, and though Day-Glo MGMT-ish single "Living in America" could still dominate radio, you get the sense that Dom's sound has already evolved into something more . . . twisted. The track's sonic cousin, "Burn Bridges," still stands tall on sparkly synth loops and bumper-sticker lyrics ("Burn bridges/Make yourself an island"), but the rest of the EP soars mostly on lo-fi surf pop made by landlocked youth using Casios and Fruity Loops in bored bedrooms. Those two songs always felt like Dom's first stabs at songwriting, and though they're incredible efforts, you can't help but think the band are already burdened by them.
Slick party starters "Jesus" and "Bochicha" are more identifiable with Dom's live show, and both provide the guitar-fuzz blueprint for new single "Bowl Cut." Yeah, Dom are more a psych-pop rock band than, as originally pegged, the next Passion Pit, but those early comparisons may have been what got the attention of Passion Pit's Ayad Al-Adhamy, whose newly minted Black Bells label is releasing the single after having met a sombrero-wearing Dom (the person) over several tequila shots last year at Great Scott's Cinco de Mayo party. (This writer might have ordered a round.) "Bowl Cut" is another distorted garage-pop nugget, with enough sentimentality for a John Hughes soundtrack; Cults' Madeline Follin adds the necessary ahhs.
Where things get hazy in the Dom spectrum is the remix with Gucci, the bat-shit crazy Atlanta MC who just got an ice-cream cone tattoo'd on his face. Here, "Living in America" gets doused in Purple Drank and slowed to a throbbing grind, Gucci's Southern rap drawl over a paranoid siren synth loop bringing the song into the immediate now. It makes the original "Living in America" feel like ages ago, and by the time Dom hit the Paradise in mid April, they may abandon the original altogether. That's one way of living up to the hype.
Dom Featuring Cults | "Bowl Cut" | Black Bell Records: +++
Dom Featuring Gucci Mane | "Living In America" | Online Release: ++++