Next Big Things 2011: DOM

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DOM, shot for SPIN in New York City on December 9, 2010 / Photo by Jimmy Fontaine.
Phoebe Reilly WRITTEN BY
Phoebe Reilly

Home sweet home: Hadley, Massachusetts
Expect: Debt-dodging indie urchins boasting unlikely ghetto pass
Must hear: Sun Bronzed Greek Gods(Astralwerks/Burning Mill), out now

"Every day, it's a struggle to get drunk," says Dom, 23-year-old frontman for the band of the same name. "We can't pay our rent, but we get food stamps. That's pretty awesome." The "we" in question are drummer Bobby, 23, bassist Erik, 23, and guitarist Cosmo, 26, who, with their similarly unkempt hair and blank stares around SPIN's conference room and refusal to provide surnames (Dom-the-singer prefers anonymity as he dodges hospital bills and college loans), do little to betray their slacker attitude.

Dom proceeds to tell the story of how, when he was eight, his mom placed him in foster care, where he was passed from one miserable household to the next until he was 18; his friends, meanwhile, sit in stony silence, a drastic contrast to the pleasant frivolity that defines their homemade, lo-fi debut, Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, especially its breezy, quasi-patriotic single "Living in America." The EP, which was remastered and re-released last month, was kick-started in 2009 while Dom was working as a restaurant dishwasher and caught his girlfriend kissing an acquaintance. "She was the only person I had," says Dom, glancing downward. "I don't have any family. So I wrote 'Jesus' about being pretty bummed out."

Now Dom's situation looks considerably more promising: A literal high point of last year was taking Ecstasy at an Adult Swim party, where he claims to have been discussing a show based on his cat Bochicha (titular antihero of Gods' fuzzy centerpiece). The quartet recently recorded a remix track with Gucci Mane, a collaborative single with rising duo Cults, and plan to release a series of EPs next year while touring the festival circuit, all of which have given Dom cause to reconsider his ex's transgression.

"It was definitely a fair trade," he says, and, for the first time, the band laugh.

"Living in America"

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