Deaf Havana have been a band in my sights for a few years now, while never disliking them I’ve never really connected with their mood. Their 2011 release ‘Fools and Worthless Liars’ had some good standalone tracks but along with it a feeling of disconnection within the sound, although that album propelled Deaf Havana further up the rock hierarchy – I felt they were still a band trying to find “themselves”.
And now, 2 years on we get ‘Old Souls’, which is an apt title for a relatively young band, but very descriptive of the progress made internally since 2011. Where I wanted continuity, they provide it, where I wanted magically hypnotic sing-a-long chorus’s they’ve delivered. Overall, it’s a more commercial offering than previous material, but it’s bloody great.
Old Souls excels for 2 reasons, first up we have a lyrical quality which is in contrast to a lot of the more commercial rock on the market at the moment. There’s a depth and personality which speaks of this album being written from experience rather than the band trying to capture and audience.
We then have a really tight sound which walks through the tracks, the general feel spanning from Springsteen to The Clash – this feels like a band that knows the sound they were trying to capture, and capture it they did.
From the opening Boston Square, with the instantly catchy guitar line to the heart felt Caro Padre (estranged Italian father story within), we have a range of songs that are set to cement the name Deaf Havana at the forefront of UK rock. The songs should be a great platform to take across the Atlantic, as mentioned above there is a definite American Rock feel within the album without sacrificing the bands roots.
Standout tracks on Old Souls include Boston Square, 22, Saved, Mildred & Caro Padre, although I have to reiterate that there are no duffers on this album. It’s kind of one of those releases that everyone likes, even if they have different favourites. There may be some criticism about the mainstream direction from long serving fans of Deaf Havana but I think the band have made the right choice. This feels like a musical direction as opposed to buckling to commercial pressure, the 12 tracks contained within Old Souls are a testament to some very talented people from Norfolk that are chasing the dream and grabbing it with both hands.
Old Souls is currently my album of the year, I haven't heard a similarly consistent offering from within any genre. I've tried to find a weakspot and negative for this, but it's just not there! Short of not offering a braille version for the blind, Deaf Havana have created something special that will remain in their arsenal for the rest of their careers! Well done lads!