Years ago, when Deaf Havana burst onto the scene they were the next big thing. Everybody listened along and couldn’t wait for them to find their sound. Years later, we’re still waiting for them to find their sound. Don’t get it wrong, the band has put out some exceptional music along the way, it’s just been hard to figure them out sonically. They’ve been emo/borderline screamo, Springsteen influence-heavy like The Gaslight Anthem, and now they’re a synth-heavy pop rock band. The difference though, is this new sound, the 80’s synth-heavy vibe they’re doing now with their new record RITUALS, is their biggest leap yet.
The new sound from Deaf Havana is so different that at first, that it’s not that believable that it’s them. If it wasn’t for the vocal of James Veck-Gilodi you could think that this was some new band that didn’t check google to see if their name had been taken. The sound is different, but there’s no denying that it’s good. Heavy production, choir features, smooth melodies, and some solid synth work all operate together to make something that works. It’s hard to say if it works better than what the band’s done on record’s past but it works just the same.
It not completely fair to knock Deaf Havana for morphing their music with each album. If they’d have made the same record over and over again we’d knock them for that too. Still, it’s crazy that Deaf Havana hasn’t honed in on something specific. It’s even crazier that they haven’t gotten the success they deserve with a vocalist like Veck-Gilodi. Lyrical content including, this record is outstanding and Deaf Havana has put out their best work. Yet, you can’t help but think that the next record from Deaf Havana will be just as different. Maybe that’s who they’re supposed to be.