Deaf Havana have had quite the journey developing into the band that created ‘Old Souls’. After their excellent debut full-length record, ‘Meet Me Halfway, At Least’, the King’s Lynn group lost their screamer, Ryan Mellor, but boldly returned with the critically acclaimed power-pop album, ‘Fools And Worthless Liars’.
Pushing themselves even further from their roots, Deaf Havana now stand as a seven-piece alternative rock band with big chorus-driven epic songs and are at home warming crowds up for Bruce Springsteen and Muse at open air shows. A new direction for the band sees them continue to produce top music regardless of their genre or appearance.
Once one of the UK’s most exciting post-hardcore bands, they’re now far happier writing large rock numbers such as album opener ‘Boston Square’, our first introduction to the new sound of Deaf Havana. The music video may have caught their listeners by surprise with their new long hair and alternative sound, yet silenced critics with a powerful chorus and moving lyrics about deceased close friend ‘Phil’ who we last heard about in ‘The Past Six Years’.
Frontman James Veck-Gilodi and drummer Tom Ogden were the only two members to write and record for ‘Fools And Worthless Liars’, due to the rest of the band unavailable due to work commitments, but this time round James and his brother and new band member Matthew Veck-Gilodi are credited as the sole writers of the music, with James writing the majority of the lyrics.
The two brothers now stand as front runners of the ‘Old Souls’ era of Deaf Havana and the two combine flawlessly on ’22’, proving why adding Matthew as a full member was the perfect addition to the band. Likewise, the drum driven ‘Mildred’ was penned with that sing-a-long dual-vocal hook chorus in mind and is already becoming a big single for the Norfolk rockers.
One thing that hasn’t changed for Deaf Havana is the songs they write about their upbringing and homes. ‘Old Souls’ continues a trend of lyrics about growing up with or without the people in your life; ‘Kings Road Ghosts’ is a charming song about how their hometown has changed since they were there. The band’s talent for bringing such depressing themes to upbeat melodies and foot tapping excitement is stronger than ever, and with album highlight, ‘Everybody’s Dancing And I Want To Die’, the band relays an insightful message through an elegantly added horn section and a killer chorus once again.
‘Old Souls’ is an album that ‘Meet Me Halfway, At Least’ lovers will call an acoustic overkill with soppy underlining and wasted potential, but ‘Fools And Worthless Liars’ fans will call a progression of exciting melodic choruses that ooze with charm and pack a punch simultaneously. Radio DJ Zane Lowe has pushed this record repeatedly on BBC Radio 1 throughout 2013 and Deaf Havana find themselves as one of the UK’s most promising bands once again, but this time on a new more mainstream level.
Written by Mike Heath