DhARMA's third release comes hot on the heals of my review of their debut one, Kelly Paven's excellent Alone In The Storm, and they seem to be a little determined to establish some form.
Mitch Murder's Glass Cities is an EP is eighties-inspired instrumental soft-rock and MOR electronics. Listening to this in the same week as Tony Scott's tragic suicide feels more than a little poignant. This whole EP sounds like it could be the soundtrack to Top Gun.
There are plenty of eighties synths then, but it also has the kind of heightened and headstrong emotion you would expect of an eighties Tony Scott movie. Several of the songs are cut through with samples of dialogues from films but it is the music that is largely left to do the talking.
Unusual as it is to hear 80s rock without vocals - the soundtrack is almost as reminiscent of a video game soundtrack as a movie one - but the melodies hold their own. The squealing guitar on 'Best Of The Best' dominates the first half of the track and the synths knock the remaining minutes out of the park. On 'Heading South' the vocal samples and motorbikes create more feeling than a vocal ever could - and anything more would be overkill.
In addition to the five original tracks there are also two remixes - one by Sylvester and the other Nite Sprite - and refreshly both embrace to atmosphere of the originals, sounding like products of the eighties themselves.
Glass Cities is released on 1 September through DhARMA. Stream it below via Soundcloud or pre-order it on Bandcamp: