James Witherspoon is unimpressed with Deaf Havana’s new album All These Countless Nights.
Wasn’t 2005 12 years ago? Apparently not, according to Deaf Havana, whose latest album All These Countless Nights sounds more akin to a 14-year-old girl’s unicorn-filled dream reverie than a work that we can actually take seriously. Speaking of which, where did that title come from – it makes literally no grammatical sense?
Opener Ashes, Ashes is reminiscent of the worst excesses of 30 Seconds to Mars – stale pop-punk-esque chords mingling with vocals that don’t quite know whether to scream or stay contained. It’s a member of that specific type of modern muzak – the kind of thing that plays in the background of a mid-range hairdresser, or in the less favourable hours of Radio 2. Certainly nothing that I would have thought a) to be commercially successful in 2017, or b) critically successful in 2017. It occupies the same lands as modern Nickelback – nobody really wants it there or knows why it exists.
Trying to talk about the rest of the album as a series of defined tracks is something I find nigh on impossible… because, in all honesty, there’s so little variation in the song-writing that the album blends into a tasteless mush. Sure, it veers from Passenger-lite (Happiness) to Twin Atlantic-esque (St Paul’s) – but these bands all sound the same anyways, and there’s literally nothing that stands out. Case in point: side by side tracks Pretty Low and England, actually sound as if they are the same track. Skill wise, there’s a pretty good guitar solo (it’s not incredible, don’t get your hopes up) on Like a Ghost, but that’s about it. There’s no sonic risk taking – nothing exciting, nothing new, nothing to really love. Surely, even the album’s biggest fans (if they were to exist) can only passively enjoy it rather than actively listening?
It sounds, to be honest, that Deaf Havana are doing their best to sound like a carbon copy of Biffy Clyro – another band with absolutely no artistic merit at all. Everything from the vocal style, to the faux-grande chording, and weird meaningless lyrics (“I held the gun but you pulled the trigger and we watched it all go”) smack of a lack of ideas. It’s catchy like a night of blackout drunkenness – it’s a little fun at the time, but in the morning you won’t remember a thing. Only two hours after my listen, I can’t recall a single melody.
So, what is it actually good for? Perhaps, just perhaps, if you were looking for a piece of music that you wouldn’t have to actually listen to – inoffensive background tunes for the world’s most uncool house-party, or infuriatingly grating ambient noise for an 8-year-old’s birthday – then there’s a chance that All These Countless Nights might be for you, which probably means that it’s not for very many people.
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