Deaf Havana are an English five piece alternative rock band who have been performing and producing punchy rock tracks since their formation in 2005. All These Countless Nights was announced last August during the band’s performances at Reading & Leeds Festival, and the excitement for the album has built gradually over the past five months. The single Trigger was featured as Daniel P Carter’s Rockest Record on his BBC Radio 1 show, and you can hear the track here:
All These Countless Nights is the fourth full length album to be released by Deaf Havana, and I’m very excited to hear how the band has progressed over the past 12 years. Their sound has shifted over the years, from hardcore guitars and harsh screamed vocals, to a more lighthearted rock vibe with 100% clean vocals and big stadium-filling choruses.
The album opens with Ashes, Ashes: it begins with a deceptive acoustic introduction before singer James Veck-Gilodi’s vocals pick up passionately and the drums and lead guitar kick in. The “whoa-oh”ing backing vocals help to build layers of atmosphere, as does the delicate piano playing within the verses. The record then leads into Trigger, easily one of the strongest songs on the record with a chorus full of emotion and drums more complex than you might expect from a song of this genre.
One of my highlights of the record is L.O.V.E, a moody ballad discussing the darker side of love with an electric guitar solo from Matthew Veck-Gilodi and a great instrumental running from about the three and a half minute mark onwards. It’s the longest song on All These Countless Nights, clocking in at almost five minutes in length, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been dragged out; more that the instrumentals and vocals have been given the breathing room they need to create the biggest impact.
Each track contains features which help them to stand out from the rest, from Fever’s grungy guitars, to the fantastic guitar solo in Pretty Low, to the acoustic-led Seattle. But what does stand out to me as a whole is the band’s ambitions and desire to succeed, grow and reach more fans than ever before. Whereas previous records sung about regrets and sadness fuelled by booze, songwriter James takes these feelings and looks forward more optimistically than ever before. If Deaf Havana continue to produce cracking records like this one, they’ll surely reach the success they deserve.
Having listened back to some of Deaf Havana’s older tracks to refresh my memory, I’ve found that vocalist James’s voice has improved and strengthened massively over the last 12 years. He wasn’t the band’s original front man, but he’s definitely settled into that role now. His tone is great, and I’d argue that he’s much better at conveying his feelings through the sound of his voice than ever before. Some older Deaf Havana fans much prefer the band’s earlier music, but to disregard their more recent records is to disregard how much these guys have grown and improved as musicians. If that also includes changing their sound, then so be it. I certainly think the band have changed for the better, resulting in All These Countless Nights, their strongest album yet and another contender for one of the best records of 2017.
Highlights: Happiness, Fever, Pretty Low, Seattle, Pensacola, 2013