The Devlins’ second full-length album, Waiting (Universal), holds all its attraction in the pauses.
The Devlins do not emphasize their nationality to increase their novelty, as many bands coming out of Ireland do, though the group’s members are fiercely proud of their roots. Instead, the trio makes its music borderless, without claiming a particular cultural style. And in the process, the Devlins boldly assert one.
Refreshingly honest, the band has a unique lure. Even with songs about Gen-X subjects and a grunge influence, the Devlins still are able to maintain their own identity. Incorporating clean vocals, guitar and bass, and a sprinkling of distortion, the Devlins have created a sound all their own.
Waiting’s lyrics are meaningful and catchy; at times, they almost produce tears. “Where Are You Tonight?” begins with soft guitar, creating a sad and thoughtful environment for the sweet voice and lyrics that follow.
“Time and time again I’ve tried/To understand what you still deny/I can hear you by my side/Tell me please where are you tonight.” A straightforward drum and cymbal combination accents the critical lines, while a slightly distorted guitar fleshes out the sound.
While the music is great, its real purpose is to fill the background behind the beautiful lyrics. “Years Could Go By” contains these beautiful words: “Lose yourself in the waves of regret/You are safe in the arms that won’t forget/And I love you.”
Love angst and commitment problems come through clearly with “I guess that you could say/That things worked out okay for now/The promises you made/Could disappear without a trace/’Cause they’re reckless,” lyrics from “Reckless.” Detailing this common feeling, the band shows its ability to relate to its listeners.
The most innovation on the album comes in the title song. With pauses in both its vocals and its music, “Waiting” holds the listener’s interest and invokes more meaning than the words alone. “And if you ever change your mind/You know I’m not hard to find/And if you ever need someone/I’ll be waiting.”
The Devlins have carved out a small following in the United States. after their 18-month tour promoting their first album, Drift. The group is sure to gain an even larger following with the release of Waiting.