Dave Hause – Devour

Dave Hause is in his late 20’s, he has a successful construction business, a wife and is the lead singer of a successful punk band (and my personal favourite) The Loved Ones. As he moves into his 30’s the global financial crisis hits and his construction company fails, his marriage fails and at the top of their popularity The Loved Ones seemingly disappear (I read a similarly written paragraph somewhere at some point; this may not be original to my review). This is Dave’s second full length solo album and it is built around the events described above, he explores these events throughout the album, while not directly pertaining to them, in a way that makes for the most complete and thought out album I have ever heard.

I remember trying to convince all my friends to listen to this album when it came out, I had no real way to describe its brilliance other than “it’s like a well structured essay”. As it turns out thats not a good way to convince university students to listen to an album, I think every time I used that description it was met with “why the hell would I want to listen to an essay in my spare time?”, a valid response when I think back on it, but it still seems like the most reasonable explanation of the album, and thats how I will review it. The 12 song album consists of an introduction, “Damascus”, 3 clear topics (body paragraphs) and a conclusion, “Benediction”.

We’ll start with the song “Damascus”, this sets the scene for the entire album, it’s clearly an introduction from the first words and though a listener may not realise it on their first listen (and quite possibly not until they know every lyric to the album) it touches on the main topics of the album.

Moving onto the first topic, this is where Dave discusses the collapse of the financial system, his business and the failures of society. The idea of a throw away society where everyone is taught that there is no limitations to what they can achieve runs consistently through the 3 songs that make up the section: “The Great Depression”; “We Could Be Kings”; and “Autism Vaccine Blues”. It seems as though these songs are written soon after the GFC when everything had hit Dave at once and he was in a place with little hope. There is an underlying sense of anger at system that builds you up so easily, and is capable of taking everything away in seconds.

The second major topic (body paragraph #2) is Dave’s marriage and subsequent divorce, this section consists of 4 songs, “Same Disease”, “Before”, “Fathers Son” and “Stockholm Syndrome”. These songs are love songs and breakup songs, the most common type of songs in the musical world, but they are written different; they’re not as bitter as most breakup songs, they don’t place blame, they don’t even necessarily directly relate to the topic, but the meaning behind them is still identifiable.

Theres a strange feeling around the song “Before”. When I sit back back after listening to the album in its entirety I don’t hesitate to label “The Shine” as my favourite song; but for the 5 minutes and 8 seconds that it takes for “Before” to play through, it is abundantly clear that I am listening to the best song on the album, perhaps even the best song Dave has ever written. I’m not sure what it is that makes this song take a back seat when all is said and done, but it is easy to get immersed in the emotion of it while it plays.

The final topic (body paragraph #3) looks at the start of regaining hope and rebuilding. “Becoming Secular” tells the story of losing his faith and gaining belief in the people and things he surrounds himself with will help make things improve. I believe “The Shine” deals with making a conscious effort to move on from everything thats crashed and starting to see some positives. Lyrics like “huddled here grinding tears into red wine, meet the darkness with the shine” demonstrate this effort to pull out of a slump, something most listeners will be able to relate to. This rebuilding continues with the second last song on the album, aptly titled “Bricks” as Dave seemingly shows he is no longer bitter about his marriage singing out “I’ll build a brand new foundation on the bricks you threw my way.”

The conclusion to the album is “Benediction”. The song starts by contrasting the opening lines of the introduction (Damascus) “Welcome my friends to the show, dance and drink if you like or sit back and take notes.” with “Oh my friends, time to go, did you enjoy the show? did you dance, did you drink? did you take any notes?” and proceeds to pay tribute to every song on the album with lyrics relating to each of them. I could sit here and quote the entire song and where the lyrics are relating to in the album, but thats not a good use of anyones time, I trust anyone who reads this review will take my word for it. Given the structure of the album, there is no more fitting end than this song and it brings together the most complete and well thought out album I have ever heard. Well done Dave, well done.


Matt Power
22 April 2015

Full Disclosure

Feeling Good
Drinking Steamroll Pale Ale (x3)
Recent Listening Laura Mardon
How I Listened Vinyl Modern

Note Dave Hause is the lead singer of my all time favourite band, The Loved Ones. I have been fan of everything he has put out in the past.

Artist Dave Hause
Album Devour
Released 8 October 2013
Label Rise Records
Tracks 12
Run Time 49 minutes
Genre Americana/Punk