Album Review

D.D. Dumbo - Utopia Defeated

Oliver Hugh Perry’s well-travelled debut holds its identity despite all the ideas it’s binding together.

D.D. Dumbo - Utopia Defeated

It’s taken Australia’s D.D Dumbo – real name Oliver Hugh Perry – two long years to follow on from the tribal stomp of 2014’s soaring, Yeasayer-esque banger ‘Tropical Oceans’, but debut LP ‘Utopia Defeated’ suggests an artist doing the opposite of backing down.

The frame of artistic reference within which Perry nestles is more American than Aussie, but D.D Dumbo manages to pick and patch together these ideas into a genuinely original new tapestry. The atmospheric, epic prettiness of ‘The Day I First Found God’ could easily find its way onto an Antlers album; highlight ‘King Franco Picasso’ pits a blues slink against weird, warped vocal effects like a sassy and strange Black Keys, while the aforementioned Yeasayer still gets a nod – in the eclectic instrumentation of album opener ‘Walrus’ and ‘Cortisol”s propulsive dancefloor beats.

The thread that primarily ties ‘Utopia Defeated’ together, however, is inquisitiveness. One moment Perry is lamenting about his dog dying over harp flourishes and bassoon belches on recent single ‘Satan’, the next we’re transported to the Orient with the intricate percussion of ‘Alihukwe’ – a made-up word with no meaning except that of the song. It’s a record that’s well-travelled, that’s absorbed a whole myriad of influence and taken two years to digest it into something cohesive. But, impressively, it’s a record that still holds its identity despite all the ideas it’s binding together.

And in the end, really, what’s two years between friends?

Tags: D. D. Dumbo, Reviews, Album Reviews

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