Full to the brim with swagger and the spirit of rock
Released by: DeeVer
Release Date: Out Now!
Genre: Hard Rock
Wil ‘Billy’ Taylor – Vocals / Guitar
Phil Appleton – Bass / Vocals
Dan ‘Higgy’ Higgins – Drums
Stevie Stoker – Guitar / Vocals
1. Fire At Will
2. All Come Running
4. Back Down
7. Only Enemy
8. We Are
10. I Am The Cavalry
11. Only Enemy [Radio Edit]
Moving on from previous band Inglorious after their second album, Billy Taylor decided he wanted to assemble a band that would allow him to pursue a sound more in line with his own vision. Enlisting the support of guitarist Stevie Stoker, bassist Phil Appleton, and drummer Dan ‘Higgy’ Higgons, the Northern (musical) Powerhouse got to work on constructing You Need This. It isn’t often that a rock album comes along that compels you to listen to it a second time just because of how fresh and original it is. Typically you can hear strong influences, or a bands legacy contained within the riffs and vocals, but that is not the case with DeeVer’s debut album. To say I was blown away upon my first spin of the album would be an understatement. With a balls-to-the-wall, punk-infused, British New Wave rock attitude with a smattering of pop-rock sensibility thrown in for good measure DeeVer have given us a curve-ball in the heavily blues-rock, 70s inspired music scene that so many up-and-coming bands are delivering these days. This much needed injection of creative energy will see DeeVer stand out among their peers, and I have no doubt they’ll be climbing the ranks very quickly if they continue to produce music of this calibre.
Opening track ‘Fire At Will’ blasts its way into your head with its heavy riff that builds into an anthemic chorus, offset by Billy’s gravelly vocal performance. This fist-pumping song explodes like a battle cry and is built for a live audience, where it will simply soar.
‘All Come Running’ cuts a subversive lyric with a subtle political message backed by the dichotomy at play between the hard riffs and thundering drums offset against the melodic chorus.
Swaggering track ‘Alright’ sucks you in with its intense sonic assault as it bounds along with endless energy.
‘Back Down’ and ‘Waves’ see a change of gears with their catchy riffs and punchy melodies and at times, punk sensibilities. ‘Parachute’ gives us a radio-ready pop-rocker that is bound to please. ‘Only Enemy’ opens up the gears and provides a wall of sound that challenges the current generation to “take back control” in this call-to-arms against the pitfalls of our social media driven world. Rounding off the album we have ‘We Are’ with its classic club rock vibe, ‘Jim’ explores the loss of Billy’s grandfather, and ‘I Am The Cavalry’ which brings the album to a resounding and bombastic close.
Largely recorded at the band’s own studio, North Red Studios, in Darlington, England, as well as Parr Street Studios in Liverpool with Tony Draper, the band has produced something they can be proud of. Draper had previously worked with Billy on Inglorious II, and he pushed the envelope with both the engineering and mixing of the stellar tracks on You Need This. Adding the final sprinkle of magic to the album in the mastering, was the legendary Nick Watson, known for his work with Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Deep Purple, and the Sex Pistols, among others. The combination of Nick and Tony’s efforts have provided us with an album with amazing production values and clarity of sound. DeeVer have given this album everything, literally and figuratively, having funded the recording and production themselves.
Discussing the album, Taylor explained, “I love the classics when it comes to rock music, and I’ll always appreciate my time with Inglorious. All of the guys are extremely talented musicians and we shared some things most people don’t get the opportunity to do. Things change though and I knew I wanted to do something different that suited me, something more contemporary based musically. Now I’m in a band back home with some of my best mates, hammering out the hard stuff and having a great time doing so. It’s reminded me of all the reasons why I wanted to do music in the first place! We all love what we are doing and are very excited for where DeeVer is heading. We have all put everything we can into making this album as great as possible and we are really proud of it. I personally love a good hook, and this ‘You Need This’ is full of them,” adding, “DeeVer has a pretty vast spectrum of influences from hard rock, to metal, to punk… but I guess you could break our musical DNA down to a few things: aggressive guitars, pop choruses and a B.S. free British attitude!”
With a swagger and a spirit akin to the raucous hard rock that blasted out of the Sunset Strip in LA in the 80s, DeeVer have given us an inspired album that belongs in every rock listener’s collection. Overall, You Need This is as good as it gets with a debut album, with many bands aspiring to give an offering like this, but often falling short of the mark. If this is indicative of what the band are capable of as they start out, then I cannot wait to see what comes next from the band, as they mature and develop. I think it’s fair to say it won’t be long before they start to inspire new bands to follow in their musical footsteps.
Written by: Erik De’Viking
My Global Mind – Reviewer / Music Journalist
Erik De’Viking is a freelance music journalist based in the South of England. His musical interests include blues, rock, and metal in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.
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