imageBreaking the forth wall for a moment, I must admit that I haven’t been totally sold on DEAF HAVANA until recently. It’s not to say I disliked or wrote off the band, and couldn’t quite put my finger on why, but the songs just didn’t click with me in quite the way I’d hoped. Fortunately I’m gracious in defeat, and will admit in retrospect that I was all kinds of wrong;

‘Fools and Worthless Liars’ is everything the band have been threatening to be and more – mature, succinct, subtle and magnetic, and at the same time dropping some of the slightly gimmicky aspects they had previously – which has really allowed them to blossom.

The album draws on influences across the full spectrum of “alternative rock”, but manages to retain a fantastic individual character, likely down to vocalist/guitarist James Veck-Gilodi having an adept ear for melody and mind for lyrical turns.

Acoustic driven opener ‘The Past Six Years’ references the album title in its chorus and is easily one of the band’s strongest tracks to date – acting like a TV drama “Previously on…” movement and setting up the record perfectly. From here, the album barely finds a snag, and though it doesn’t quite carry the pace or crunch of some of Deaf Havana‘s peers in general, it really doesn’t need it. Portia Conn’s guest appearance on ‘Little White Lies’ carries one of the biggest choruses of the album, and current single ‘I’m A Bore, Mostly…’ really is excellent.

However, where the album carries its most most endearing quality isn’t the strength of the standout tracks, it’s that it doesn’t really seem to have any trouble staying consistent until the end. It’s a trap so easily and regularly fallen into, and Deaf Havana sidestep the issue entirely by just seemingly forgetting to write any filler.

‘Fools and Worthless Liars’ is a testament to the band’s hard work so far, and it is without doubt one of the best albums from a UK band this year. Fans will take to it straight away, but if you were unsure of what to make of the band before it’s very much worth putting those preconceptions aside and getting your teeth stuck in. You won’t regret it.

TOM AYLOTT

You can see the band’s latest video for ‘I’m A Bore, Mostly…’ below: