Dom | Sun Bronzed Greek Gods EP
Most Likely To: get a song about his cat, Bochicha, played at the local minor league hockey arena. Or at least make up this story for an interview.
Worcester, MA trio Dom (guitarist Erik, drummer Bobby K. and the titular frontman) made quite a splash last spring when they released their debut, the Sun Bronzed Greek Gods EP on a tiny label called Burning Mill Records. For a seven song, nineteen minute EP released by a band reluctant to reveal any more than the most meager information about themselves (last names?), it received quite a bit of press, and ended up making them one of the most promising new bands around heading into 2011.
Since then, they’ve collaborated not only with fellow up-and-comers Cults on the highly spinnable “Bowl Cut,” but with the recently-ice-cream-cone-face-tatted Gucci Mane on a bizarre remix of SBGG cut “Living In America.” Clearly this is a band on the rise, and somewhere in the interim, they signed to Astralwerks (traditionally an electronic label) for a remastered, rearranged re-release of their EP. Because the Burning Mill version was only pressed on limited-edition vinyl and cassette (and digitally, obviously), the reissue will consist of CDs, as well.
The prospect of remastered versions of Dom’s tracks was an interesting one, but this EP should really be thought of as a promotional tool more than anything, raising Dom’s profile and announcing their arrival on a larger label. The tracks are arbitrarily rearranged and they flow together no better or worse than on the original. The remastering of the songs is more obvious in some places than others, but the general effect on the quality of the music is more or less neutral.
I remember thinking that the two knockout tracks on the original EP, “Burn Bridges” and “Living In America,” were a little muddy in their production, especially in the sound of the drums (especially on the latter track). The drum mix is really the only apparent sonic difference between the two EPs, but I think the original, lower-fi mix — situated halfway between garage rock and synth-pop — might actually better suit the sarcastic attitude of the songs than something cleaner and more detached.
Sarcasm plays a role in both Dom’s songwriting and their public persona (Dom has referred to “Living In America” as “a ‘YMCA’-type track that I would be best known for but forever hate myself for writing.”) but their songs are still very emotionally direct and enjoyable in an uncomplicated way. This directness — reminiscent of San Francisco’s Girls — is especially apparent on closing tracks “Hunny” and “I Wonder,” and may benefit slightly from this tidier remaster. In the end, though, the quality of this new release is so similar to the original as to render it inessential to anyone already familiar with the band.
Listen to “Living in America” from Dom: