January Album Of The Month
A New Year is a time of re-birth and for new discoveries for us all. And no better way to start a forward-looking agenda on new rock for 2019 than with the bold, confident debut from DeeVer – an album that is youthful in spirit, masterfully produced and forward-looking in presenting the signature soundscape of a modern rock band.
I’ve followed the band’s story at intervals since its very inception, and here is the story of a band being built from the ground up; writing the music they want to play, creating an authentic following from their home and capturing that sense of excitement and comradery between the band members in the music that naturally flows from their togetherness. This is not another young band re-creating sounds from rock’s classic past; it’s a band staking a claim to today’s music scene with music that blends rock, metal, punk and indie influences yet the result is fresh – and something that is instantly recognisable as ‘the DeeVer sound.’
DeeVer is part of the rising North East scene and the band comprises of frontman Wil ‘Billy’ Taylor, bassist Phil Appleton, drummer Higgy and guitarist Stevie Stoker. The connection with home is important for this album, which was largely recorded and produced in their own studio in Darlington, England.
A number of songs will be well known to rock fans. The 2018 singles Fire at Wil, All Come Running and Only Enemy are good calling cards on what’s to come – riff-laden bangers, blending rock, metal and punk influences. Having playlisted all these songs on mainstream radio last year, the reaction from listeners – and significantly from casual music fans, not just ardent rockers – was emphatic. This was guitar music that didn’t sound like classic rock, it was hard to pigeon hole – but it was energetic, different and catchy. Further, many listeners discovered DeeVer on their own musical merit – without any real knowledge of their previous work with other bands.
The nice thing about this debut album is it really opens up after we revisit the early singles that open the album. All too often, albums slowly unravel after the radio singles have been heard, but this album actually goes up a level. ‘Back Down’ is great melodic radio rocker with impressive dynamic range. From the tender opening to the charging finale, this song takes you on a journey. ‘Waves’ offers rousing chorus lines and heavy riffs. While the music makes you want to jump around, it’s one of many album tracks where there is subtle substance behind the lyrics.
Tracks 6 and 9 – ‘Parachute’ and ‘Jim’ show a different side to the band. Parachute in particular stretches the band’s appeal to indie audiences, underling the band’s potential to move left and right of classic rock and to become one of those bands that can open the genre up again to new audiences. ‘Jim’ we premiered late December and based on listener feedback the song has already been playlisted for the month of January. The song has one of the best guitar solos from the album and it’s one of those pop rock songs that can do much to help rock make those gradual steps back to the mainstream.
‘We Are’ is sure to be a crowd favourite come festival season – gutteral guitars and an arresting call and response chorus line. ‘I am The Cavalry’ is the album closer and, to me, it sums up well the spirit of the whole album. I have a feeling this could be the slow burn grower on radio, one that we’ll still be playing come December.
‘You Need This’ is not just another album – one senses it’s been a real labour of love. Having spoken to Wil at intervals over the last 18 months, it’s clear that he and the band have put everything into this album. But significantly they have done it on their terms. The album is also a testimony to embracing change and going towards it. The band has had a clear vision since the outset on the kind of band and the kind of people they wanted to be. The resulting album is an expression of that truth, of that belief and of the passion that has powered them.
I don’t think this is the definitive DeeVer album. As a debut it marks a statement of intent and the start of a creative journey. As a debut, it’s an emphatic start. The album is a collection of songs: Singles if you like. Some albums are held together by lofty concepts but this debut is a collection of songs that each stand on their own two feet. Any of the tracks could be a single. To me, it also feels like a rock album for a new generation of younger fans. Energetic, exciting and with that soul of youthful protest. This is not a classic rock album paying tribute to past glories, here is a band drawing on influences to create a ballsy, edgy and accessible rock sound for the modern age.
DeeVer’s debut album ‘You Need This’ is released 1st February 2019.
I will be featuring four album racks on my Friday Rock Show in the countdown to official release date.
Album pre-orders from the Deever store at:
Follow the band on social media:
Re-trace the band’s story through our early interviews with the band – now up on listen again: