Dave Hause - Devour (Cover Artwork)

Dave Hause

Dave Hause: DevourDevour (2013)
Rise Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

At this point, no one should blame punk fans for growing weary of the "acoustic guy" movement. As Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry, Dave Hause and countless others have (mostly) traded in their electric guitars for acoustic guitars over the past decade – ushering in a bevy of like-minded frontmen along .
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At this point, no one should blame punk fans for growing weary of the "acoustic guy" movement. As Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry, Dave Hause and countless others have (mostly) traded in their electric guitars for acoustic guitars over the past decade – ushering in a bevy of like-minded frontmen along with them – it's become increasingly difficult for its players to separate themselves from the oversaturation of contemporaries. Hause seems keenly cognizant of this, and makes a concerted effort to differentiate his sound from the others on his sophomore full-length Devour.

Devour sounds much fuller and more realized than its predecessor, Resolutions. And much like on Resolutions, the full-band feel, somewhat unique to this genre, works to Hause's advantage. Opener "Damascus" wouldn't sound out of place next to the more rustic moments on the Loved Ones' Build & Burn; with shuffling percussion, intervaled electric guitars, haunting backups and intense vocal melodies from Hause, it's a standout that possesses the same sort of Springsteen-informed, working-class feel that dominated the Loved Ones' latter work.

That aforementioned vibe permeates throughout Devour: The driving piano, soaring vocals and lyrical content of "The Great Depression" and "We Could Be Kings" are straight out of The Boss' early playbook; the latter in particular is one of the catchier songs Hause has penned.

The perspective of "Autism Vaccine Blues" is unique; Hause recently told Esquire, "The song is written from the perspective of someone who has been recently cured of autism and isn't so sure they are ready and willing to cope with all that we have to offer here in modern society. I'm not so sure I am either." The song itself is lyrically very compelling and awfully catchy, as Hause no doubt injects some of his own issues and worries into the perspective of this character he's created.

Because of the fuller approach, the quieter, more rootsy moments of Devour are augmented. "Same Disease" uses lush acoustic guitars, booming low-end percussion and wordy, energetic vocals from Hause. "Bricks" is a little slower and dramatic, but no less effective as it eventually evolves into a louder, heavier number.

Elsewhere, "Father and Son" has some neat distorted guitar residing somewhere between bluesy and fuzzy; the dark austerity of "Becoming Secular" works to its advantage; and "Benediction" closes Devour on a slowly building, eventually triumphant note. The problem is getting there: This album is 48 minutes long, and Hause musically repeats himself just a little more than is necessary. Still, Devour has more than enough quality moments to elevate Hause toward the top of the genre.


People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - MetropoleThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastAgainst Me! - Transgender Dysphoria BluesThe Flatliners - Dead LanguageThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsDead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteRed City Radio - TitlesFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesThe Lawrence Arms - Buttsweat and Tears [7 inch]Dave Hause - Resolutions

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
cthulhuzoa (November 7, 2013)

I haven't heard this but the album art is terrific.

tbrow (November 2, 2013)

That was disappointing and extremely boring!! His range from TLO is gone...

jacknife737 (November 1, 2013)

Fantastic record - especially the full band stuff on here. Autism Vaccine Blues is one of my favorite songs of the year

Dante3000 (November 1, 2013)

Just looked up the actual quote. He does expand a bit on the title but still says things like, "It got me wondering whether the people who had been stricken with the disorder, upon being cured, would prefer to go back to their former state after being awakened and subjected to all of the complications and stress of life in America."

Which is a very odd thing to say. Autistic people are not unaware of what goes around them. If anything it's frequently more difficult for them because (for many) while everything gets in, it's a lot harder for them to get things out. Again, it varies based on the degree and symptoms of autism.

I am a sensitive nelly.

telegraphrocks (November 1, 2013)

Dante, that quote sounds like it was completely made up by the reviewer.
The actual quote (which I'm too lazy to look up) actually made sense.

Also, Sundowner = puke.

allbutone (November 1, 2013)

I like this album a lot but what happened to this dudes voice? Anyone else feel like it sounds like he has a frog in his throat?

Dante3000 (November 1, 2013)

I'll have to listen to it when I get home but I really hope "Autism Vaccine Blues" has better content than what it sounds like Hause described in the quote. Autism isn't a learning disability or some form of mental retardation. Actually saying that "they're not sure they can cope" would seem that it isn't a vaccine for autism at all, when one of the traits of some autism is actually difficulty with social development and communication (particularly of emotion). Maybe it's just because I worked with a few autistic kids in my time but I just really don't like the way the quote sounds, it seems like a very poor understanding of the condition.

I'll stop PC policing now.

filbunke (November 1, 2013)

This album is one of my favorites this year. Beautiful album. So many great tunes.

And by the way, the song is called "Father's son", not "Father and son"

kickaha (November 1, 2013)

Devour, like Resolutions, unsurprisingly sounds sort of like "The Loved Ones Light" (which is not a bad thing). I can see the Springsteen comparisons & it also reminds me of Lucero at times.

I think the guy who is doing the best "solo" stuff is Chris "Sundowner" McCaughan. In my opinion, he has developed his own sound that is more fresh, vibrant & interesting than the rest. Most of the others doing the "acoustic guy movement" seem to be doing something more traditional between the lines of the Johnny Cash country/bluegrass/gospel style or the Springsteen model of bluesy, soulful barroom rock n' roll.

jimmynorville (October 31, 2013)

I'm fine with everybody releasing solo albums (though I sometimes would strongly prefer to get another album from their band), but Dave goes out of his way to keep the record interesting. It also allows the record to be its own experience, quite different from seeing him perform solo.

tittus (October 31, 2013)

Love it.

RiotRiot81 (October 31, 2013)

I read he wrote most these songs to be Loved Ones tunes, but couldn't get everybody together. I honestly think that shows. It also sounds like someone has been hanging with Brian Fallon. I really like it though. Very creative concept on Autism Vaccine Blues....

telegraphrocks (October 31, 2013)

I assumed this would be really boring. I was wrong.
Love it. I know a lot of these songs were meant to be for the third Loved Ones LP, and you can really tell at points.

I wish "dudes from punk bands that make solo records" would incorporate full-band compositions like both of Dave Hause's albums. This guy knows what he's doing. As long as he keeps making records like this, I guess I can accept that there won't be any more music from The Loved Ones.

lostcausegiveup (October 31, 2013)

Great review. The album does stretch on a little much, but has great moments. I just wish we could get a new Loved Ones album.

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