Here. Home. is the first full-length from Windham, New Hampshire’s Deer Leap, and boy is it a gooder. After a split with emo heavy hitters The World as a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, these rockers have produced an excellent 9 song album.
The record starts off with Here, a ethereal journey through the unique musical styling of the band. Mellow vocals and the ever present crash cymbal carry are characteristic of most tracks on this album, a perfect introduction to first time listeners.
Not Penny’s Boat is a beautiful instrumental track that leads into Walls Become The World All Around, another moving track reminiscent of something you’d hear from a band like Dads, albeit a tad heavier and faster. I can’t get over the lyrics on this album, every word feels mulled over and meticulously penned into the most soul crushing, heart pounding wave of emotion you could feel.
The next track, Home follows suit, containing lyrics like “And no one loves you, because you don’t love yourself”. The twinkly guitar work flows through this track in such a way that you can’t help but feel sucked in, feeling the same emotions that vocalist Keith Galvin is feeling himself. Did I mention the sadness?
The percussion work on the next song What Is Dead May Never Die is interesting and quirky, twisting and turning at every possible instant, just as you thought you could start tapping the beat out with your fingers. The song slows down as quickly as it started into a chilled out, soothing passage of self reflection, ending abruptly.
And Every One Of Us Better Than You, the 7th track on Here. Home. is a fast paced song that is lead in by pounding toms and feedback laden vocals intertwined. Quick and to the point, it is followed up by a transitional track (the third “instrumental” of the album) and moves into the final track, The White Lodge. This song is also an instrumental but delivers so much more than just instrumentation. Tempo changes, especially near the finale of the song drag you into the complexity that these three guys bring to the table.
Overall, Here. Home. is a solid release from a great up and coming band in the post-whatever era. If you’re looking for an intense, emotional album to put on, sit back and contemplate to, this is for you. I can’t think of a band that better delivers the perfect mix of crushing instrumental work and clean, consistently powerful vocals. A great debut full length album, with hopefully many more to come!
Deer Leap – Here. Home. is now available on their BandCamp