Thursday, October 10, 2013

Album Review: Devour

Title:  Devour (MerchNOW, MerchNOW [Rise Records], Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk)

Dave Hause’s solo debut Resolutions has become one of not only my favorite records of the decade but one of my favorite records of all time since its release in 2011.  The record was one that I liked from the moment I heard it but grew on me with each subsequent listen and since then I have obsessively tracked down everything by Mr. Hause that I can get my hot little hand on.  To date, all of it has been great and his newest album Devour is no different. 

I’ve been looking forward to Devour more than any other release this year and with each song that was premiered in the days leading up to the album’s release, my anticipation and excitement grew.  Needless to say, the record in its entirety does not disappoint at all.  Devour is easily, EASILY the best record of 2013.  Sonically, this is a rock ‘n’ roll record pure and simple.  Well, what does that mean exactly?  If you are a fan of the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, The Replacements, The Hold Steady, The Gaslight Anthem, and the Hudson Falcons, then you will love Devour (and if you don’t, I’ll have to question whether or not you have a soul).  Lyrically and thematically Devour deals with issues of frustration, disappointment, and disillusionment with the American Dream.  In fact, Hause has put together the best set of songs that, to me at least, express the current state of things in this country.  Now maybe I identify with his lyrics and music because we’re close to the same age, grew up surrounded by similar things and experiences, and have both dealt with the glass shattering reality that is life in America.  This record speaks so close to my heart that it’s almost scary.  Hause has perfectly captured what it means to be a middle-aged misfit trying to get by in this divided and hyper-commercialized nation, and for someone like me it’s nice to know that someone else out there gets it. 

From start to finish Devour contains anthems that, as Eric Danton of the Wall Street Journal put it, “are at once gritty, frank and catchy.”  This record captures the frustration and the mood of this era in our history like nothing before and there is no good reason why this record shouldn’t be to this decade what Born in the USA or The Joshua Tree was to the 1980s.  Seriously, how in the world are songs like “Autism Vaccine Blues,” “The Great Depression,” and “We Could Be Kings” aren’t chart topping anthems is beyond me.  

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