DeepSeaGreen - Self-Titled

Owain Paciuszko 09/09/2010

Rating: 3/5

Three East Londoners and one Italian make up this blues-rock outfit who remind me, on opening track Plastic Lazarus, of fictional classic rock band Stillwater from Cameron Crowe's film Almost Famous. This is very old-fashioned stuff and unashamedly so. The growled vocals of Appletree bring to mind Gomez when they went a bit raw, the track climaxes in a grizzly refrain of 'Home, home to your love' which fits the desert-road guitar lines well.

Black Maria opens promisingly, bass grumbling with verve, and lead singer Trent Halliday delivering his vocals in a kind of Chris Cornell-like style. The fluffy production on the drums of Just To Feel lends a great deal of character to the record, just at the point when - with On The Steps Of Summer - they were becoming a bit stale. The track itself isn't a revolution in terms of DeepSeaGreen's sound on this, their debut record.

The riff that opens Polarise feels like a fun-size Led Zeppelin, but after those opening moments it loses its fire and Halliday's vocal falls a touch flat, especially when you're expecting Robert Plant to begin wailing. However there was a certain energy to that track that dwindles out on Something To Say, which is a languid classic rock number in the mold of Goldrush.

There is a bit of an unexpected left-turn in the wrong direction on closing track Janine when, at the start, things sound like The Killers meets Nickelback, which to my mind is the unholiest union in musical history. It's a real surprise because for the most part DeepSeaGreen have a high quality retro sound, they're inevitably going to be compared to the greats and that's going to make any level of success more of a struggle, because, yes, at the moment these guys are not Black Sabbath or Pearl Jam. But, I can't help feeling they could have a formidable live sound and, with time, will be able to put that across more successfully on record. This debut record is slightly bloated, but a bold start for a band who have the capacity for greatness, and admirably plough the furrows of classic blues-rock with musical skill and an expressive, if stilted, vocal performance from Halliday.