Deaf Havana

Meet Me Halfway, At Least

Written by: JD on 19/10/2009 17:15:12

In my opinion screamo / post-hardcore is a very dangerous form of music to try and produce. The genre tends to throw up mostly amateur attempts to imitate the godfathers and a lot of very forgettable songs. This is definitely not the case with Deaf Havana. Prior to hearing "Meet Me Halfway, At Least", a friend emailed me the video for their first single "Friends Like These". It was one of those moments when a song just... connects. One of those songs you know will be included in every rock based compilation you make. One of those songs you show to all of your friends. Instantly I knew the words and felt a rush of euphoria every time I played the track. I felt every chord, every drum, every melody. Needless to say the album had a lot to live up to.

What allows this album to crossover into the realm of significance is its pop punk centre. While the songs are far from pop, the structures and unforgettable hooks definitely have their roots in that genre. This is not to ignore their clear talent for writing hard hitting and technical post hardcore riffs which can easily be ranked up there with the best of them. "This Town Is Ours" gets the album off to an epic start. Aggressive screamed vocals intertwined with a second clean vocalist reminding me of early Alexisonfire when Dallas Green sang more. The chorus is an instant anthem. Much like Alexisonfire, Deaf Havana's clean vocalist is something to take special note of. His soaring voice is passionate, beautiful and in my opinion steals the show and makes the band. In every song I get the sense I'm just waiting for him to kick in. The album really shows its dynamic with "Another Day In This House" and "Waves" demonstrating that this band can take on the bigger acts with the slower heavy ballads. Things are stepped up a bit with songs like "Ice Doesn't Help The Uncoordinated" where a faster, heavier side of the band is displayed. Technical guitars and impressive drums rip through the song with the screams being the final nail in the coffin. No doubt a highlight when they play live.

Towards the end of the album you might start to feel like there has been a formula applied to every song - perhaps a double edge sword effect of its pop sensibilities. As the predictable screamed verses and clean choruses appear more and more I find myself switching off. This doesn't mean the album has filler towards the end. Far from it. The standard of music remains high throughout the album with perhaps the more 'radio friendly' ones higher up the track order. But overall this is a great release from Deaf Havana. "Meet Me Half Way, At Least" oozes with talent and thought. Its heavy enough to satisfy the post hardcore fans, poppy enough to satisfy the pop punk fans and stands out enough to grab the attention of all those on the periphery. Its main let down is the predictability of each songs structure (scream verse / sing chorus). If the album had pushed a few boundaries then this would be a definite 9 for me. It's important to remember that this is a young band and also their first album. I can't wait to hear them develop. This is a debut to be proud of. Should these guys get the opportunity to grace the USA I have a feeling they could really shake things up. I predict big things.


Download: Friends Like These, Another Day In This House
For the fans of: Alexisonfire, Underoath, We Are The Ocean
Myspace: Myspace

Release date 05.10.2009
A Wolf At Your Door Records

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