Friday, 27 September 2013

Review - Deaf Havana: Old Souls


      Bold, powerful, raw and most of all, honest. These are the first ones that spring to my mind while listening to Deaf Havana’s new album, Old Souls. An apt title, as it’s easy to forget how young this group of lads are, when their sound is so much more mature and experienced. We all know that bands need time and a few records to really find their sound, and now on album three, Deaf Havana are doing just that. Their sound is bigger and bolder, as they seem to be growing in confidence. There is a clear American influence on this record, but without losing its English rock roots, as this is a band at the forefront of the resurgence of British rock that has been seen over the past few years, and this fusion overall creates a pretty fantastic sound. There is also a great range within the record, from slower emotional songs, to bigger numbers that you can picture a crowd really getting into, and they are clearly not afraid to experiment with their sound, from trumpets jazzing up ‘Everybody’s Dancing and I Want to Die’ to the addition of a choir adding even more power to the already intense ‘Caro Padre’.  One of the real strengths of this record though is the lyrics, largely written by lead vocalist James Veck-Gilodi. As in previous songs, his words are personal, honest and real, unlike the clich├ęd bullshit that so many chart songs are full of. These songs tell stories, of their past and hometown, of relations with other people, and of how their lives are now. It’s very easy to feel like you have an insight into Veck-Gilodi’s emotions and thoughts; yet although these are clearly very personal lyrics, they speak to the band’s listeners, relatable as they are full of emotions that many of us have felt. From the catchy riffs of opener ‘Boston Square’ to the raw intensity of closer ‘Caro Padre’, this album is an amazing listen from start to finish, and surely a sign that Deaf Havana are only going upwards, on to bigger and better things. Personal favourites: Boston Square, Everybody’s Dancing and I Want to Die, Night Drives, Kings Road Ghosts, Caro Padre.
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