It's been a windy road for Deas Vail. Their Rambler Records debut All the Houses Look the Same was supposed to release a year ago, but it got shelved when they moved to Brave New World Records. In its place, they released the Collapse EP in the summer, which contained three tracks from the shelved debut, as well as two new demos. And now, Brave New World is ready to release the album that got postponed last year, minus two original tracks, and plus four new ones. That brings us to today, and to the finally released All the Houses Look the Same.
Deas Vail's sound can most easily be compared to that of Mae's. The instrumentals, and especially the vocals, give it a very ambient, spacy feel as well. It's experimental in a sense, but technically tight in most aspects. It's loud when it's soft, and soft when it's loud, somewhere between thrilling and soothing. But instruments aside, Wes Blaylock's voice is, simply put, remarkable. It would be wrong to say that it carries this record, because the ever-varying musical arrangements (Pianos, strings…etc.) keep you peaceably on the edge of your seat. Suffice it to say that they're both above par, and perfectly complement each other. Blaylock's vocal range is stunning and provides for a "no barriers" approach to song crafting that shines through with brilliant colors.
The closing track on their Collapse EP, "Standing Still," has been split in two on All the Houses Look the Same, and serve as the updated album's opening ("Standing…") and closing ("…Still") tracks. Cut from the final album were originals "All of Me for All of You" and "On Streets We Know." Those have been replaced with "Light as Air" (From Collapse) and "Rewind." So though there were cuts made, the originally eleven track record is now thirteen songs long.
Deas Vail is an overtly spiritual band lyrically, though not all songs speak directly of it. Some deal more specifically with the futility of failed relationships, and some are just downright cryptic. Still, it gives you a lot to chew on.
God bless this record for finally seeing the light of day. Maybe Deas Vail will finally get the attention they deserve. At last, a cohesive piece of work that says, "Here's what we are capable of." The scary part is, with such talent, they are only poised to get better with time. But without jumping ahead, All the Houses Look the Same is one of best debuts to come out in a long time. Jump on the bandwagon now.- Review date: 3/4/07, written by Josh Taylor of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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