Djevara – ‘VIVA! / PUNK IS NOT A SOUND’ [Review]
Some bands spend their entire careers stuck in the shadows of others. Female-fronted rock bands are constantly compared to Paramore; prog-metal acts are weighed up against Dream Theater and Periphery; and political rock bands get pinned with the “RATM Clone” tag as soon as they hit a proper groove.
Third-group members Djevara have done more than most to forge an identity of their own. RATM’s influence is undeniably present in places on VIVA!…, but there’s so much extra flavour in there that dismissing Djevara for copycatting is just plain silly. Dive into this schizophrenically-titled album and you’ll quickly hit pockets of rough-edged At The Drive In-style post-hardcore, Reuben-esque grit, One Minute Silence-saluting cries of anguish, Tool-like atmospherics, and much more.
More than anything, VIVA!… is run through with deep and deadly serious lyrical work which hits a poignant standout point on (reprise) / SKIN. Tackling racial segregation in music and shifting through dynamic alterations with the help of producer-Jedi Dave Hollingworth, SKIN is a songwriting and arrangement masterclass worth the price of purchase alone. SKIN (and second track MEXICO) were TMMP’s high points, not only because of their radical approach to structure, but also because they mark Djevara out as a band with something important to say.
In 2015, political bands are thin on the ground – despite the increasingly fucked nature of the world’s political landscape. In an age of filter bubbles, Facebook, and Xbox Live, where distraction, isolation, and ignorance are actively encouraged, bands like Djevara are needed perhaps more than ever. Grooves, intelligence, and allergic reactions to injustice – Djevara are fighting the good fight, and thank fuck for that.
TMMP RATING: 92%
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