Bad/Love have revealed more of themselves with the release of “DMU”. The single follows on the heels of the Melbourne band’s debut EP SIOIS, and seems to already be an expansion into a different kind of sound. Coming in vibrant pink instead of dark and foggy hues, it almost feels like it could be a reintroduction.
From even a few seconds in, I was a little like ‘”MANTRA”, is that you?’; hearing an undeniable Bring Me The Horizon influence, which admittedly took me a fair bit of time to shrug off. I’m extremely keen to see what Bad/Love are about, as them and who they are.
Regardless of similarities, taking “DMU” as it is soon allows that overshadowing influence to fall away. “DMU” is huge from the outset, and hits the listener like persisting waves of sound without reprieve. More sedate at the verses, it’s all so slithery. Drums and voice pull attention, while everything else is still felt at the outskirts, contained and waiting for its turn. Lyrically, “DMU” comes across as exploring one’s perception of another person in their life.
The back and forth of the shared pre-chorus vocals bounces potential and hope like they’re a hot potato, with a fire of frustration running as an undercurrent. It’s a bit like: Is there anything else aside from how things are right now? The soaring chorus adds the idea of the song perhaps being about addiction (with “DMU” a play on that, perhaps?), and watching someone they care about under the grips of this experience. Seeing them “Drawn like a moth to a flame” hurts, especially when they can’t get through to them.
“Frostbitten hands will drag you under”
Bending and bounding, it’s a full-bodied palate cleanser before diving into the second verse. Sounding fresh and clean and with an intriguing groove, there’s questions about identity and manipulation, before expanding into a roaring rage when deception becomes apparent.
The bridge was a pleasant surprise where its crystalline crispness takes us into how the other person is entranced by this darkness. Cold and echoing and with a quickening pulse, we’re alongside them. With this, it’s satisfying to have a fiery roar arrive at the end of this, which could be seen as serving as a blast of heat to break this pattern. The chorus is undeniably good, and its ragged edges that flow into the repeating and haunting “Frostbitten hands will drag you under” lines tells me that there’s no resolution here.
To me, the feverish and feisty moments of “DMU” felt the most ‘right’. Given that I feel the same about the energy of “What if I wanted to go?” in “The World In Colour” (for example), I’d be keen to see the band express more of this flavour of sound with future music. But for now, I’ll sit back and let the band reveal themselves in the way they choose to.
Watch “DMU” via YouTube below, or via streaming services.
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