Reviews

eclectichoney - Charge EP

DERRICK DEVINE - CHARGE

This CD should come with a warning sticker: 'Don't be put off by the name on the cover, it's not just another acoustic singer-songwriter record.' It's quite an achievement that if it weren't for the two words 'Derrick Devine' on the cover, one could easily think that Charge was the fruits of a band's effort rather than a singer-songwriter's. Indeed the presence of a full six piece band and backing vocals both on record and on stage, predicates against the tendency to lapse into seeing Devine solely as another fine purveyor of the 'nu-folk' movement. While May Snow is beautifully tender in its isolated landscape, the outros of Hope-Dove and To Shrink You in no way shirk their responsibility in creating miniature claustrophobic cresendos. In fact, by the time the trumpets enter on charge, it sounds like Belle and Sebastian doing a Damien Rice cover, while second track Hope-Dove has all the lo-fi sensibilities and country clamour of Sparklehorse.

Both Charge and To Shrink You, mix the propensity of The Frames to come out with breathtaking intimate revelations, alongside dashes of new Irish hopefuls The Hollows and Shoeshine Records' Boa Morte. There are also hints of Tom McRae to be found at times. Final track To Shrink You leaves you with a natural tendency to press play again. And again. Based on Damien Rice's past successes, Devine deserves an equal share of recognition. There are certainly some parallels at times (also very notable differences it must be said), but Devine thankfully doesn't succumb to Rice's at time's moany, self-pitying ways, instead pursuing a straight down the line, heartfelt approach with a refreshing honesty.

Michelle Dalton

 

eclectichoney - Take Care

DERRICK DEVINE - TAKE CARE

The Take Care single houses two tracks in a similar vein to those on Devine’s previous Charge E.P., but both songs here show a musician that seems notably more confident and accomplished. Phrases like “the ease of a breeze” roll off Devine’s tongue with an air of assurance, while at the same time retaining a necessary degree of vulnerability. 1000Fold has a Martin Finke edge to it, as Devine’s ruminations are soaked up by just enough instrumentation to support his endeavour, but not so much as to overcast his sentiments. The guitar line that sinks in just before the four-minute mark provides a flourish that drags 1000Fold up a few more levels, making a simple acoustic working infinitely more memorable.

The absence of weighty verses is all too notable these days and both Take Care and 1000Fold help to compensate for where other musicians skimp, with Devine’s intimate musings stretched out over five or six minutes. Devine’s song-writing has an unquestionable sense of simplicity, honesty and diligence to it. His blend of self-reproach and criticism offers a plain sincerity that’s met with a refreshing lack of melodramatic tendencies as he ruefully observes on Take Care ”I owe you too much, and you deserve more than just to see me smile” – an rather ironic statement for a singer-songwriter, given their usually morose dispositions. But then again, there’s something about Derrick Devine that sets him apart from a lot of the genre.

If Charge was an aperitif to whet the appetite, Take Care is the main course that delivers. In a country awash with singer-songwriters, Derrick Devine is right up there with the best of them.

Michelle Dalton

 

IMRO.ie - Ellison 9

Formerly singer-songwriter Derrick Devine and his band, Ellison 9 are an 8-piece rock band based in Dublin.

Fronted by Devine on lead vocals with Sorcha Brennan on harmony vocals, their sound has been compared to the likes of Calexico, Deus, Sparklehorse and Nick Cave. Dark, intelligent lyrics are backed up by drums, bass, keyboards, off-kilter guitar lines, distorted violin and the occasional perfectly weighted blast from an orchestral trumpet.

The band is currently recording a mini-album which is set for independent release in April 2004.

''a force to be reckoned with in the future'' iris magazine

 

Songs From The Parlour -  Ellison 9 - May 26 2004

Derrick Devine played for us in July 2003, and he returned in May 2004 with his band, Ellison 9, formerly known as Derrick Devine and the Good Ship.

Counting acts such as Calexico, Nick Cave, Wilco, Elliott Smith and dEUS amongst their influences, ellison 9's Americana-tinged sound places quiet, gently plucked guitar numbers alongside louder, angrier moments. Dark, intelligent lyrics and melodies combine with off-kilter guitar lines, bass, drums, violins and even the occasional blast from an orchestral trumpet.

 

Songs From The Parlour -  Derrick Devine - July 30 2003

Formerly one-half of The Screwtape Brothers, Derrick Devine is a 25 year old musician living in Dublin. Having recently played his own Whelan's headliner, Hot Press described him as having "the skill of immediately captivating a crowd with his presence, deep voice and between song banter"

Earlier this year, he successfully released his debut EP Charge to critical acclaim and will be playing the next Songs from the Parlour gig just after the release of his band's single Take Care.