Deaf Havana - Old Souls
Norfolk band Deaf Havana return with their second album Old Souls, which sees them branching out into a bigger, more expansive sound. Produced by Youth, the band shamelessly embrace their rock influences, most especially Boss-man Bruce Springsteen, who lands himself a namecheck in the coming of age rocker '22': "With Springsteen in my headphones singing mockingly away / Oh, Brucey baby I've seen better days."
However the songs that make up Old Souls are more Gaslight Anthem than E Street Band, albeit without the former's oomph; mere reflections that, which while pleasing and inoffensive enough, fail to leave much of an imprint. The melodies soar, the guitars wail and James Veck-Gilodi gives the songs his all with impassioned angst, yet the music all too easily falls into MOR pastiche. We have heard all this before, and with more originality as well. From the overt Bruce-ism of album opener 'Boston Square' to the rather lovely 'Night Drives', the songs would fit snugly in a rom-com soundtrack: pretty to listen to while they're on, but quickly forgotten once the last notes fade away.