Sound: Deaf Havana are a five piece post hardcore band from Norfolk in England, UK. The album 'Meet Me Halfway, At least' was released via Wolf At Your Door Records on the 5th October 2009.
The first song I heard from the album was Nicotine and Alcohol saved my life, and I instantly knew I had to check out this album out. The album begins with a pretty heavy intro, with Ryan Screaming and James adding clean vocals, in a very 'Question and answer' manner, and this theme carries on throughout the whole album. Another theme that runs throughout the whole album is the screaming verse's with 'heavy' riffs, with epic chorus's to follow.
Standout songs on the album for me are 'Nicotine And Alcohol Saved My Life', '3 Cheers For The Easy Life' and 'Another Day In This House'.
One thing I was disappointed about from this album, is the lack of interesting guitar bits. The overall guitar tones are great, especially the clean sections. There are little to no solo's throughout the album and few really catchy melodies to grab hold of. In saying that, the clean vocals do make up for that as many of the melodies can easily get stuck in your head.
The drums are pretty solid, with some interesting fills here and there, especially leading into a couple of chorus, and with an overall good sound. The bass doesn't do anything impressive but doesn't do anything wrong, so not much more you can say about that. // 8
Lyrics: As mentioned in the previous section, the vocals on this album are definitely one of the best weapons in Deaf Havana's arsenal. Highlights within the vocals have to be the intro and ending in Nicotine and Alcohol saved my life, which is probably why they released that track. The best chorus in this album has to be on Friends like these, as it's incredibly catchy and shows of the vocalists capabilities.
As far as lyrical content goes throughout this album, the songs are mainly about reflection on things that have happened. There are a few tracks that are lyrically uplifting, telling the listener how good and lucky they feel in life (Friends like these), and you have the typical relationship lyrics as well as general 'girl talk' lyrics.
In the song 'Another Day In This House', he uses one of the best lines I've heard in a long time.
"talk about skeletons in your closet
well there's a f--kin cemetery in mine".
This definitely adds some comical value to the song, even if it is a song about being sick of being stuck in your home.
My only criticism is that sometimes, the screaming is over used and doesn't have a good effect on the songs, and can almost get annoying as well. You could actually compare his scream with Sam Carter from the Architects, and anyone who's like Architects will know how well that type of screaming works over heavy riffing and powerful chorus's. It's a shame about the screaming though, because I know the screamer can also sing and does in the odd song. It would have been great to hear the two vocalists doing some interesting vocal harmonies and dual vocal parts with clean vocals. // 9
Overall Impression: My overall Impression of this album is that it's certainly worth a listen if you like the post-hardcore thing, with clean and screaming vocals. It's not for you if you want intricate guitar parts and incredible musician man ship. Deaf Havana do what clearly comes naturally to them, and that's writing catchy, yet hardcore songs.
In conclusion, get this album! It's totally worth it, and Deaf Havana are on the verge of being the next big band to come out of the UK. // 8