Déjà Vega : Personal Hell
DL / Streaming
Winsford trio Déjà Vega (Jack, Tom and Mike) have just dropped their anticipated second album, Personal Hell. For a band with no PR and a mystery to their releases they are about as DIY as it gets. They give little hints whenever they’re about to release something and this was dropped on our pretty little ears with a bang not a whimper, to the delight of the hardcore fans who will pack out their largest gig to date at Gorilla on the 5th February. With all the big releases that have popped up early this year, this absolute scorcher of an album has set alight the start of 2022 with a sonic bang of pure power that screams along at breakneck speed throughout, which burns but never crashes. It’s already a contender for one of the albums of the year and I swear you will play this over and over again. Iain Key gives us the lowdown on this juggernaut of sound…
The band say they set out to write a more immediate record; “a more ‘pop’ record than the debut, adding synths to the sound”, which they have. Thankfully that doesn’t mean that they’ve veered too far from the ‘psych krautrock punk‘ (thanks Wayne AF Carey) from their self titled debut.
Only last August, at the Concert For John Hall, was I first introduced to Déjà Vega. That Sunday afternoon at the Ritz I was blown away by the power and dynamics of the band who completely commanded the stage and had the audience memorised. I have been listening since. With Personal Hell, somehow, the band have managed to bottle the energy of the live set and delivered an album you will want to listen to with the volume tuned up to 11.
Fans of the band will already be familiar with some of the tracks which have been released over the last couple of years and established as part of the live set. Kicking in with It’s All Gone Wrong, you’re immediately hit with feedback, searing guitars, rhythmic, hypnotic bass and drums. It’s a trip that once started rarely lets up over the next 40mins. Singles Who We Are and Spitting Gas follow quickly, offering little respite. To be honest, the only time things really do calm down is on the psychedelic groove of Slow And Steady but it’s not long before things liven up again with recent single Harmonia. The synths the band have added on tracks such as Catharsis and Banshee certainly enhance the sound, offering a juxtaposition to the searing guitars, making it all sound, er, bigger. How much volume can 3 people make? That said, I’m not sure how he does it, but on Balancing Act Tom sounds like one man performing in a double drumming outfit, like The Fall’s peak period Burns and Hanley rolled into one.
I know other albums have been released today which have got some of the mainstream media creaming themselves about the ‘latest indie crossover’ but they’re looking in the wrong place. It’s a proper DIY act from the midst of Cheshire that should be getting the attention.
To support the albums release the band embark on their biggest tour to date during February
2nd Lexington, London
3rd Dead Wax, Birmingham
4th Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
5th Gorilla, Manchester
6th Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow
19th Jacaranda, Liverpool
24th Globe, Cardiff
25th Thelka, Bristol
26th, Bodega, Nottingham
Foreword by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here