Deaf Havana are a band that have fought to keep their dream alive. Transitioning from a post-hardcore band to an alt rock act after the departure of vocalist Ryan Mellor successfully was no mean feat, but they managed and created ‘Fools And Worthless Liars’. Following that up with hotly anticipated ‘Old Souls’ could make the band’s new release, ’22’, seem like a hastily composed effort at only 9 months after its predecessor, but thankfully its substance justifies it.
Opening number and lead single, ’22’, sees this band at their new best, producing catchy, radio-friendly rock numbers with infectious, bouncy choruses that will rattle around your head for days. This, however, is in complete contrast to the rest of the EP as an acoustic and heartfelt version of ‘Kings Road Ghosts’ immediately shows, baring the boys’ souls and showcasing the substance behind them.
Other tracks, such as ‘Drive All Night (English Hearts)’, has more of an upbeat vibe, with a faster pace but maintains the stripped down, more personal atmosphere. This leads perfectly into acoustically led and vocally-focused, emotionally charged number, ‘Whisky’. It’s a country style track that you wouldn’t expect on a rock record, but it works and is performed very well by frontman, James Veck-Gilodi.
Deaf Havana have done well to survive what has made several bands crumble. They’ve reinvented themselves yet maintained a solid fanbase, and this record demonstrates how. It’s very different from how they started, but it’s good and solid. The newer, radio-friendly aspect wins them more fans and more publicity which only helps their success as ’22’ will continue to do. There’s a reason these boys are steadily climbing up the festival bills and playing bigger venues, and they deserve the success they’re achieving.
Written by Jonathon Barlow