Dom – Sun Bronzed Greek Gods

Dom – Sun Bronzed Greek Gods (Reissue)
Astralwerks: 2010

Dom is quite the interesting indie band. Sure, they’ve got all the required formulas for one to get an indie rock sound these days; dual male-and-female vocals, a bass guitar heavy sound, synths, and catchy, simple melodies.  Even though this may come across as generic at first, there are little frills and details to the music that make it stand out amongst the crowd of Pitchfork-worshipped, indie rock bands. As many unique details as there are, this still lacks a true sense of originality. Sun Bronzed Greek Gods manages to maintain some originality while never crossing beyond the invisible border that is indie land. It’s still pretty freaking fun though.

The music starts out as any indie band with a poppy sound. You’ve got the poppy hooks, the soft female vocals, the stabbing basslines and the hard-hitting, if relatively simplistic, drumming. Some unique parts show up, such as an Asian-sounding synth melody on the first two tracks whose origins come from use of a Japanese music scale. Not only is it interesting, but you have to give them credit for coming up with this stuff. It’s an effective juxtaposition to the patriotic, America-loving lyrics. Oh yeah, this band loves America. A lot of the lyrics are about the good old United States. Oddly enough, the lyrics are never bothersome or do they get in the way of the music. The guitar playing is fairly light, but some tracks come in with some rocking, Garage Rock style volumes and speed. It brings a sense of old school rock and roll to the indie sound. I’d have to say the simplicity of it all is the best part, never trying to challenge the listener with too many avant-garde and complex melodies.

As fun as it all is, the music is fairly uninspired. It seems Dom is just trying to make it big by writing catchy tunes and nothing else. None of their ideas are truly original, as they have all been done in one way or another. A good comparison would be The Shins, who they obviously borrowed a lot of their sound from. It’s easy to criticize them for not trying too hard to be more original, but in today’s world of constantly trying to stand out, it is fairly refreshing to the ears to hear something generic and catchy.

While they cross the borderlines between generic and just plain fun to listen to, Dom is not trying to be a stand out band. I’m torn between two opinions — I don’t like them for not trying hard, yet I love them for being so fun and catchy.  It’s effective to have a strategy like this when writing music, as it is sure to get you noticed. A fun, if unoriginal affair, Dom makes a mark with Sun Bronzed Greek Gods.

3 out of 5

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