Album Review: Deaf Havana - 'Old Souls'

9 September 2013 | 8:21 am | Staff Writer
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Classic gritty rock mixed with upbeat instrumentals.

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Deaf Havana, who formed as a school band and managed to make themselves into something much bigger with international tours and pulling crowds at big festivals, return with 'Old Souls.'

Known for their melodic rock sounds, 'Old Souls' is no exception to this. However, there's versatility. The full-length also brings in a certain pop vibe. The sound of Deaf Havana has certainly expanded from their older style, possibly because of the introduction of two new members to the band? 

These up beat pop-rock sounds paint the illusion of a fun and happy album while lyrically also it describes heartbreaks and emotional falls. Throughout the record we are faced with themes of alcohol, death and regret. 'Speeding Cars' shows this in its entirety, with its slower moments, creating a powerful and emotional song. “I knew what I didn’t want this album to sound like – an underground rock record,” says James Veck-Gilodi.

The whaling mixed with the scruffier rock vocals that comes from 'Tuesday People' shows off some talent displaying different extents that Veck-Gilodi can reach with his voice. This song has an impact hard to describe, is up beat but also makes you want to wave your hands in the air slowly to the music.

If you are into upbeat rock, something that sings about heartbreak and tough times that could make you sad, but mixed with pop influences to lift you up there is appeal here. 

'Caro Padre' is interesting, obviously it is meant to be a really meaningful song, mentioning family. Although, it sounds a bit like a cheesy musical, perhaps reminding us of the recent remake of Rock of Ages. Possibly not the best choice to end the album with as it lacks uplifting instrumentals that the rest of the record had, leaving it on a lower note.

Overall, Deaf Havana have done well to branch out from their previous sounds. 'Old Souls' infuses the past sounds of the band with something new and catchy. While it probably won't win any awards for album of the year it's not a bad one at all. Very emotional, melodic and catchy at times.

'Old Souls' is a good, solid rock album. It's not breathtaking, but the band know how to make a good, catchy album and reel you in with their emotional content, both instrumentally and lyrically. This album shows Deaf Havana branching out and if you enjoyed the single 'Boston Square,' the rest is also worth a listen.

1. Boston Square
2. Lights
3. Everybody's Dancing and I Want To Die
4. Subterranean Bullshit Blues
5. Night Drives
6. 22
7. Speeding Cars
8. Saved
9. Mildred
10. Tuesday People
11. Kings Road Ghosts
12. Caro Padre