Loud? Without a doubt!
Trippy? About 500ug…
You could spend all day trying to work out who Deja sound like – what genre they fit into – but you’d be completely wasting your time. Truth is they’re completely unique, they’re Deja fucking Vega and don’t we know it! From punchy punk rhythms to more reverb and delay than Kevin Shields could shake a stick at, it’s just pure ear porn ready and waiting for you; but don’t worry about mum and dad finding this collection! Show them, they’ll probably enjoy it too.
The album eases us in with Telephone Voice, well, until about 1 minute 50 seconds in, then slaps us right in the chops with that classic Deja Vega ‘wall of sound’. This song, amongst others, carries the genius ear worm effect you find on King Gizzards ‘I’m in Your Mind Fuzz’; particularly the bass, so you won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. Track 2 and 3 (Eyes of Steel and Mr Powder) both keep up the pace set by Telephone Voice, however both tracks leave much more room for the vocals to push through to the front of the mix. Mr Powder tells the story of one of the lead singer’s (Jack Fearon) previous bosses at a cement factory who refused to let the line stop running and would regularly whistle at staff to get back in line. This ultimately lead to Jack’s dismissal when he told said boss “don’t whistle at me Mr Power, I’m a man not a dog.”
Chasing (Track 4) drops us into the pop-ish side of Deja Vega, mainly through the drums, which also boasts some fast-as-fuck snare rolls/fills. The song conveys a rather sinister tone and, naturally, a catchy bass line. The same sinister tone carries on through to Vor Gazen, a somewhat welcome down-beat break from the chaos that has just ensued. Don’t worry if that’s not your thing though, Friends In Higher places will get that foot tapping and head bobbing once again. The music video that accompanies this track is fantastic and well deserves a watch, if you haven’t already.
Track 7, Pentagrams, just screams Deja Vega for me. The driven bass with little twangy bits, Tom switching between battering his hats to battering his ride, all while relentlessly twatting the snare drum and then there’s the guitar, it’s loud, it’s quiet and it fills the space unlike anything you’ve every heard; the song perfectly leads into The Ballad of Alfred Hitchcock. This is a new song for me and it breaks ups the album perfectly, somewhat peaceful while still holding up the psychedelic undertones that flow throughout the whole album. The next track, Sound of Speed, has a progressive post-punk sound to it, bringing back that sinister tone I mentioned earlier. It kind of makes you uneasy, like somethings wrong but you’re not sure what and I’m completely OK with that.
Now, the next two songs have a more personally meaning to me. Seeing Double was one of the first songs I can remember hearing from the lads as Deja Vega. I’m fairly certain it was under a different name back then and I had all but forgotten about it; so what a nice bloody surprise it was for it to pop up this late in the album. The song is far less in your face than some of the previous tracks, the bass takes a more more melodic roll and carries you through on a trippy journey with ups, downs and everything in-between, right through until the end when everything gets a bit hectic in a Sonic Youth style noise fest. Closing the album is a song that if you catch live will bring you back for more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more an- well, you get the point. The Test is the name and it’s arguably one of the best live songs I’ve ever had the pleasure of catching on many occasions. Like Pentagrams everything about it just screams Deja Vega, except this time its longer and with more weird shit to fill the void. By weird shit I mean the stuff that Jack does with his guitar, it’s completely lost on me, for I am but a humble bassist. The sounds he creates through a whole plethora of techniques will leave you picking your jaw up off the floor and asking for more, trust me on that one.
Overall, every song on this album fucking bangs. When given the opportunity of this review I just couldn’t say no but I really didn’t want to be bias. I’ve been watching these guys since before Deja and I felt it a necessity to not let that cloud my judgement. I wanted to take myself away when I listened to the album, treat it like something completely new and I did, about 7 or 8 times and each time was just as enjoyable as the last. There’s just no 2 ways around it, it’s a solid album from a solid band and if you’ve never seen them live I implore you to catch them at gig and grab yourself a physical copy of this record. Be fast though, they’re selling out shows as fast as they can book them at the minute.