With Deaf Havana being from my home-county, and with the backup vocalist taking full writing/singing responsibilities, to say this album was seriously awaited would be an understatement. However, it was not as expected.
There last album, “Meet me halfway, at least” was a well-written post-hardcore album, combining clean vocals with screams and growls. However, this band have changed almost beyond recognition since 2010, brought about by Ryan Mellor, frontman, leaving the band ‘for personal reasons’.
With James Veck-Gilodi stepping up to fill in though, Deaf Havana have gained something extraordinary.
The album starts with “The Past Six Years”, an instantly memorable acoustic track, full of pure emotions and teenage angst. With lyrics like “We are sick and we are tired, we’re all fools and worthless liars” and “young and unemployable, lonely drunk and beautiful” this song is totally relatable, and likely to become an anthem for disillusioned teens everywhere.
The whole album is packed with raw emotion, and fear of growing up such as in “Youth in Retrospect”.
Veck-Gilodi has laid his soul bare for our listening pleasure, and its so brutally honest and saddening that you feel you’re reading a diary.
Track six, “I’m a bore, mostly” was the first single from the album, and although it wouldn’t have been my first choice for a single, i’m glad they picked it as it manages to mix the heavier guitars of the old style, with the melodious vocals amazingly. It also name-checks Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and The Smith’s Morrisey, and you can hear the influence both these musicians have had on this album.
By far the most powerful track on the album is the only love song, the ending track named “Fifty Four”, it gets the perfect mix of relatable and emotional without using a single cliche, and features some of the whole albums most quotable lyrics, notably “I’ll keep holding on ’cause we are young, we are free. My god, that’s still good enough for me.” This song will stick in your head long after the final words are crooned.
This album deals with complex but commonly felt issues such as, alcoholism, hating and loving your hometown and being young, depressed and apathetic whilst being scared of the future. However the style is relatively upbeat and pop-punky, and the lyrics are so very relatable with an everpresent vein of optimism throughout. One of 2011s best albums, hands down and confirming Deaf Havana as a band to watch.
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