It had been a long time since December 2016’s stand alone single “Bad Company” and even longer since November 2015’s self-titled debut. Social media output from the band had been quiet and then came the promise of new material in 2017. It seemed unlikely with the year fading out but at the beginning of November came the announcement of a new 7 track EP and the Australian DJent-Rap crew’s EU debut live show at UK Tech-Fest 2018.
So to the EP. It’s an independant self release, a self recorded affair with mixing and mastering by Buster Odeholm from Impact Studios in Sweden (regularly used by Stay Sick Recordings, Century Media and Sumerian Records bands to name but a few). Opening up with “Endless”, a pacey DJent track with a rap about never giving up. It’s a strong opening with plenty of DJent groove action. Matthew Youkhana’s flow and delivery is improved over the previous album with more urgency in his delivery. “Detox” then hits, very much the follow up to “Fatal Attraction” from the bands self-titled debut. Atmospheric synth loops play in the background while the guitars rest to build the layering before the guitars kick in and bring the breakdowns. The EP’s pre-release single and video “Slave To The Beat” then delivers a more straightforward approach, falling in style, lyrical approach and themeology between the first two songs. What is lacks in atmosphere, it makes up in grove and bounce. “First-Degree” takes elements of “Detox” atmosphere and builds across a short 2 minutes and 17 seconds. Guitars are dialled back to add to the build before it cuts and throws us head long into “The Devil In 95s”. “First-Degree” acts as an intro of sorts as “The Devil In 95s” builds on the atmospherics before smashing through them with a solid chorus and DJent guitars. EP title track “Therapy” then takes on the logic that rather than sorting problems out with conversations, we dive into providing people with prescription drugs and paper over the cracks. It’s a powerful message about societies ills. Closer “Ready For War” is a straight up hip-hop track, atmospheric beats and synths which Youkhana’s often hard-edged vocals float on top of. Again, lyrically a song about the band being back and rising above the challenges that have faced them. At 26 minutes, the EP doesn’t leave you feeling sold short.
As a whole this EP is as mind blowing and thought provoking as the bands full length debut. The Western Suburbs of Sydney, Australia of the bands home have helped inspire them as has the greed and corruption in the music industry. Rapping about mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, music industry greed, the death of a loved one and the self-believe to carry on through it all and chase the dream gives the depth that others lack. DVSR are one of those bands that sound simple on the surface before giving them a listen but the more you do listen, the more depth you find. [8/10]
3. Slave To The Beat
5. The Devil In 95s
7. Ready For War