KEXP at CMJ, Day 1: DOM

photos by Brittney Bush Bollay

It would be such a cop-out to introduce DOM with lyrics from their most well known song, “Living In America,” but this foursome from Worcester, Massachusetts, knew all the right and wrong moves it takes to make waves in today’s saturated and self-important indie rock scene Sex sells — even when it is ironic and delivered with a salt-tipped tongue, and it’s so sexy to be living in America, traveling on the sweat scented summer air throughout the streets of Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and everywhere in between, making waves performing at Pitchfork office parties in Brooklyn or mixing tracks with Guicci Mane.

DOM’s story begins with the twenty-two year old frontman Dom. He has a last name, which he revealed in an interview with Pitchfork, but will not reveal it because he “owes a lot of money.” With a personality as caustic and restless as the songs that squeal and blaze on their debut EP, Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, released on Burning Mill Records, Dom and his fellow bandmates recently signed to Astralwerks and wrapped up a North American tour opening for Ratatat.

In interviews, he mockingly answers questions, and on stage his slashed t-shirts, jeans, backwards baseball caps and blazing red hair down to his shoulders fit the persona of a devil-may-care frontman who every band wishes they could have. Backed up by Bobby K on drums, Erik on guitar, and the newest member Cosmo on bass (watch out for his ridiculous decadent solo on the end of “LIA” during their live set), DOM was named one of the 40 Best New Bands of 2010 by Stereogum.

The band has barely been playing together for a year and what a trip it has been. Fearless to the max, there is nothing Dom wouldn’t do to feed his hunger for music and it comes across with every strike of his hot pink guitar as soon as he steps foot on a stage. Whether he is singing songs about his cat, Bochicha (who has recently been made into a cartoon for the Cartoon Network), drugs, sex or isolation, there is always an edge of an underlying message. Similar to MGMT singing about becoming famous rockstars, losing friends and family and pushing it all way in a haze of rock and roll glory, DOM’s sugar-coated, skateboard-anthem driven, steroid raged, pubescent indie rock carries with it a deeper message for those who are willing to dig deeper.

Today’s set was a wakeup call — not just to the residents of the Ace Hotel NYC, in whose lobby they performed at 10AM!, but also to all would-be slacker indie rockers.

Check out the photos from their performance, presented by KEXP and Toyota’s Free Yr Radio:

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