Album Review: Dave Hause – ‘Devour’

Dave Hause wears his heart on his sleeve in his latest solo release, Devour, as he presents a personal, melancholic collection of meaningful rock songs; a sort of concept album touching on issues as diverse as social mobility, chasing the American Dream and modern technology.

It’s the sophomore solo effort for Hause (pronounced like pause), the frontman of the disbanded American punk band The Loved Ones, who has recently gained respect as a solo artist touring his first solo release Resolutions. Featuring songs were originally written for The Loved Ones and bringing in famous friends from bands such as Frightened Rabbit, My Morning Jacket and Social Distortion, Devour features less acoustic guitar and more complex songwriting and creative melodies than its predecessor; think Springsteen with a tinge of punk.

‘We Could Be Kings’ was the first single released from the album. An electric guitar-driven rock tune, it tells a heartfelt tale which shouts out to the people who were once told that they could achieve anything if they put their mind to it, but sadly life got in the way of even their best-laid plans. Together with the first few tracks, it explores the sadness involved in chasing the American Dream, and you can tell that Hause speaks from experience. ‘Autism Vaccine Blues’ is as interesting a track as its name suggests, asking if a cure was invented for autism, would the cured patient regret receiving treatment or be able to adjust to the stressful complexities of modern life.  The franticness and confusion is displayed in the music with clever, and perhaps tongue-in-cheek, lyrics: “My car won’t charge, my phones out of gas”.

The middle part of the album the pace slows down a bit, maybe a bit too much, although the songs are good and fit in with the album overall. Hause welcomes the idea that you can be as morose as you want as long as there’s some silver lining thrown in at the end. This positivity come through in the closing third of the album, most noticeably in “The Shine”, a two-part song which implores those talented folks and musicians who make a positive impact on people to carry on doing what they’re doing. The unconventional sing-along second part certainly grows on you and would be great to sing live. The last song ends things off well concluding that love will save us all, in a way that surprisingly doesn’t come off all that cheesy.

Devour surpasses all of Hause’s previous work and is certainly worth a listen for anyone who appreciates lyric laden songs. It could be the album that brings Mr Hause closer to fulfilling his own American dream.

You can catch Dave Hause at The Bodega this December.

Kev Sharp

…Kev is listening to Kings Of Leon – ‘Beautiful War’…


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