Album review of Devins ‘Romancing’ published for State.ie on May 16th 2012.
Looking to the past for inspiration is common place in modern music, after all, isn’t everything is borrowed? However, 2012 is unlikely to throw up another artist so keen to embrace the past than young New Yorker, Devin. Just a quick glance at the cover of Romancing and these suspicions are confirmed, it is an unashamed throw back to rock ‘n roll of yesteryear, an ode to the days of The Stones, The Ramones & New York Dolls.
As the album and song titles like ‘Born to Cry’ ‘You’re Mine’ and ‘In My Solitude’ suggest, this is a journey through the time-honoured themes of love, loss, and heartache. Apart from this, what strikes you as soon as you set Romancing loose on your speakers, is the raw energy and spirit that drives the album. From the thundering, lightening fast opener ‘Masochist’ to ‘Run’ and ‘Forever Is Only a Moment’ the flamboyant energy never dies.
This flamboyance transposes an effortless, carefree sense of fun and a remarkable danceable quality to his songs, an admirable quality. The hip-swinging ‘New Horrors’, ‘I Don’t Think I’ and ‘Too Soon’ hit the heady heights of Supergrass at the top of their game. It may be a predominantly hyperactive mesh of lively pumped up punk and garage riffs but despite the gritty production, Devin’s soulful blues-tinged vocals inject a touching sense of emotion to proceedings. Originality is obviously not his forte and you will probably feel you have heard these songs before but Romancing offers Devin’s take on a genre and style he loves, doing it justice with an album which sounds passionate, edgy and genuine. A worthy addition to any record collection.