Gone are the apostrophes from the shout of surprise that doubles as a band name for, Oh No Oh My. With it the perversely eccentric pop of Between the Devil and the Sea – an EP actually recorded long before its 2007 release date. On Dmitrij Dmitrij, the multi-instrumentalists adapt to a more polished, accessible sound. It’s still essentially quirky indie pop, but the edges and lines are cleaner and neater. With Between the Devil, Oh No Oh My kept company with basement recording acts such as The Mountain Goats (albeit with less folk and more spunk). On Dmitrij Dmitrij, there’s sure to be a wider appeal.
Dmitrij Dmitrij is nearly college radio ready with an indie rock opener, “Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman,” slightly reminiscent of The Killers. What sounds like ghostly, vibrato keyboard chicanery keeps things interesting on the song. I have to hand it to Oh No Oh My that even with an easier sound nothing is completely straightforward. By the second track, “The Boy with an Anchor,” Oh No Oh My is swimming in the indie pop pool along such acts as The Magic Numbers and I’m From Barcelona. “The Boy” is as catchy as anything available on the record shelf.
“Be a Star” continues along the same lines and is an obvious single if ever there was need for one on an EP. I had heard it once a couple months ago on Pandora, and I immediately recognized it upon first listen of Dmitrij Dmitrij. My memory is not that great; the song is just that infectious. “Be a Star” explodes into noise at several points throughout as the guys shout, “You said you’d never go!” The synth brings just the right amount of kitsch to the mix. Tapping out the beat is obligatory with such a danceable track.
While the final two tracks that round out the five aren’t particularly strong – “Go to Work” sounds like it’s from a bad Flaming Lips album – Oh No Oh My typifies nearly everything that is right about good indie music: a refusal to be pedantic, instead bargaining on innovation and a devil may care attitude. Dmitrij Dmitrij won’t win any end of the year awards, but it should earn a spot on your iPod for a while. The highest praise I can level at Dmitrij Dmitrij is that it makes me smile. That’s worth something for sure.