Thing of the Day

DJEVARA, the rising tide and a little more than just another hardcore punk band...

January 28th 2011

Djevara cover part 2DJEVARA – The Rising Tide Part 2: Hear No Evil (Genin) – 

Demand a future that doesn’t resemble the past. Do you still sleep with the lights on? Stop pretending like you care… 

  See it, Say it, Mean it, Feel it… Stop pretending that you give a shit... that you give a f…

We’re running out of lifeboats and this is the still rising tide

This is the second part of Djevara’s concept album in two halves (is it a concept, or is there just a concept shaped feel to it?). Part one was Corsa Al Ribasso, it came out in 2010, and this second part follows quickly on the heels of that first at the start of 2011. Can’t accuse this defiantly independent band of lacking ambition, of not pinning it all up and putting it all out there. 

   Djevara are a blisteringly honest band, a raw bleeding band, a band with their frustrated emotion worn boldly on their angry sleeves. This fourth album is once again them turning their frustrations into some kind of confrontational angst ridden positive, a call for change that you can’t just hold in your hand – a little more than the pennies out of your pocket.    
  This is raw hardcore punk rock - not that Djavara are some kind of nihilistic anarcho confrontational rant of a punk band, oh no - they're far more subtle, far more awkward to pin down and pigeonhole, there's far more depth. Anger is not their only energy. This London band are like some kind of raw, blistering, post-hardcore punk-edged outfit who at times are almost playing melodic prog-flavoured, tunefully raw heavy rock that comes with all the twists you’d expect a concept album to come with. Last time around we said something about a positive chip on their collective shoulder and playing from the gut as well as the heart – more of the same here as their commitment sweeps you along with their frustrations, with their emotional response.

Djevara band photo - credit Laura Ward    Djevara don’t quite sound like anyone, they really are a band they can’t be easily pinned down. Always raw and with an edge, while they have moments that touch on melodic prog rock, always always with that raw post-hardcore edge though, they have bits that rage against machines in a Refused kind of way, bits that taste of rare blistering punk anger. They bleed emotion (no, not emo, this isn’t manufactured, this is real anger, emotion, frustration, they’re committed to every word, every note). Just raw guitars and a rather live and instant set of DIY production values. Really they have far too much going on for them to fit anywhere, makes musical life tougher for them, but we need bands who don’t just want to fit somewhere and play safe. At times things get a little experimental, at times they’re getting towards the question-throwing, system-questioning street punk stylings of bands like Subhumans... but none of it is as obvious, and they’re far too much of a hard rocking slightly prog rock flavoured band to really fit comfortably with the ‘traditional’ sound of anarcho  punk either.  

Some might find the slightly low-budget production to be a little too messy, but that messy sound is a positive thing, recorded live to tape all in one go. And they’d argue that is the only way to really do it, and that we the disconnected reject the offer of a brave new over-produced auto-tuned world, run by Coca Cola and glossy music magazines that are little more than marketing tools, and that they don’t want to live in a world where Ikea builds every house and no one has a home, where they select and package everything for us, where they package our culture, our art and even ourselves. We the disconnected reject a world that leaves the watchman unwatched, we don’t believe that economics will save us and that the time has come to demand a future that doesn’t resemble the past.         

   Where part one was the decent to the bottom, this second album is the fight back. First track on Part Two, The Offer - and especially the delivery of the spoken word opening - is so powerful, surely almost impossible for any band to open an album and keep it that emotionally intense all the way through? We refuse! We resist!, We shout it out – this is the raw sound of people who have had enough of sitting around and watching everyone just taking it, enough of corporations, of just accepting domestic violence as the norm, they’ve had enough of all the just watching it all. There’s all kinds of layers here and what happens next? And how do you keep your lights on? See it, say it, mean it, feel it, is the rising tide going to take us over? If we had the answers we’d throw them away…  

The Rising Tide is not a musical revolution. Djevara are a positively brave band, a committed band, and their sound is raw and sometimes maybe just a little too messy. And in terms of pure music making, in terms of their sound, they maybe don’t jump out as being anything too vital – good but not vital. The thing that is vital though, is their power, their emotion, the way they turn their limitations into a great big positive and that sum of the whole does make Djevara, their new album and everything that they stand for, absolutely vital. This is a brave honest refreshing committed album, a raw album, a very ambitious album, and ultimately, despite the raw limitations, a triumph of an album. Few would have the guts to even try it.
Djevara live
The Rising Tide Part 2: Hear No Evil is out this week on Genin
(Band photo: Laura Ward, live photo: unknown)          

Stick em upMeanwhile, over on the streets of Houston (and pretty much every city in the world right now) people are wheat pasting...

“Welcome to the shadowy world of the street art subculture” say the Stick ‘Em Up! people…

  “Stick ‘Em Up! is an alluring and captivating film that delves into the little known world of wheat pasting, an inner city art form that’s as provocative as it is misunderstood. Documentary filmmaker Alex Luster delves into the minds and motivations behind several guerilla street artists capturing the lifespan of their art... conception, creation, placement and ultimately the removal by the city abatement enforcement.
   With commentary by legendary street artists and from top local law enforcement officials, “Stick ’Em Up!” is a gritty, street smart documentary that reveals the secret truth behind some of the prolific images you see everyday”.

Well that’s what their website blurb says. There’s a tiny taste of what’s to come at 
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