‘Britpop revivalists’? You might as well call yourself ‘vagueness specialists’. The term ‘Britpop’ has been stretched and distorted over decades of retrospective nostalgia until it no longer represents the clutch of crisp, sharp and melodic social commentators at the heart of the movement (Blur, Suede, Pulp, Oasis, Supergrass, Elastica, Gene, Dodgy, Sleeper, The Bluetones, Echobelly, Shed Seven, Menswear if we must) and now means pretty much anyone who released a record in the ’90s with a guitar on it. No wonder, over in Australia, DMA’s were confused about what bits to revive.
Their 2016 debut album concentrated largely on Oasis and their aftermath – a strand that barely needed reviving, what with the likes of The Courteeners and The Sherlocks still keeping the ladrock fires burning – while this second LP broadens their scope to take in baggy, shoegaze, jangle pop and even some ill-advised bits that sound like Travis. Cast and their mid-paced Merseypop ilk form the bedrock, indulged to a twanglesome degree on ‘Dawning’, ‘Lazy Love’ and ‘Tape Deck’, but there are intriguing diversions into early Verve (‘Break Me’), The Cure’s ‘Friday, I’m In Love’ (‘Warsaw’) and The Charlatans’ brand of cult baggy (the title track) that make ‘For Now’ more of a retrospective overview of the decade that moderation forgot.
Unfortunately that means touching on the soporific, commercialist stoolrock that blighted the end of the era with ‘Emily Whyte’ and the dreamy/dreary ‘In The Air’, but DMA’s certainly capture the melodic essence of the ’90s on the likes of ‘Time Money’, ‘Warsaw’ and shoe-disco shuffle ‘The End’ – even if its generational thrill, energy, impetus and bite thus far evade them.