It’s no secret that being in a medium-sized rock band isn’t particularly lucrative. It’s also easy to forget just how long lots of the “new wave” of English alternative rock groups have been kicking it for: Lower Than Atlantis and the recently retired We Are The Ocean celebrate their tenth birthdays this year, whilst Don Broco and Young Guns are just a year away.
Deaf Havana are the oldest of the bunch: 2017 marks their twelfth year together. This has seen them go through line-up changes, three diverse albums and visit the brink of demise. All that has been leading to this, their fourth, explosive full length “All These Countless Nights,” a record that tells a whirlwind story of love, alcoholism and despair.
Whilst the aggression of “Meet Me Halfway At Least,” the wistful nostalgia of “Fools and Worthless Liars’” and “Old Souls” Springsteen-esque romp each felt quite distinct, “All These Countless Nights” feels more like a cumulation: there’s elements of all their previous work, yet this doesn’t feel lazy or uninspired, it feels like Deaf Havana have finally found their sound.
That sound is a wonderfully emotive take on classic rock; there’s creeping elements of indie and a definite punk energy on tracks like “L.O.V.E” but what Deaf Havana do best is anthemic rock choruses and dreary lyrics and “All These Countless Nights” offers an abundance of both.
James Veck-Gilodi’s heart-breakingly bleak lyrics team with his soft voice to pull on the heartstrings on “Happinesss,” an ode to alcoholism that opens on minor chords and features the lines “I’ve been trying out this thing they call happiness for a while / But I never truly cleared my cluttered mind” that will leave jaws dropped to floor.
“Like A Ghost” is based on some bluesy guitar riffing from James’ brother Mathew that gives it a unique edge. It’s is one of many tracks to feature a sizzling guitar solo; during these moments, Gilodi balances technique and style beautifully.
Whilst “All These Countless Nights” is certainly a more subdued record than the bombastic “Old Souls,” it is better off for it. There’s more room to appreciate the subtly delayed guitars, more room to breathe in the array of percussion, keyboards and pianos that fill in the space behind the songs and bring the compositions to life and more room to fall even further in love with James’ poetic lyricism.
This album is a distillation of what makes Deaf Havana great, and possibly their best work to date.
Deaf Havana’s All These Countless Nights is released on the 27th of January 2017 through Silva Screen Records.