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The Sirens Sound Review 12/24/17

The band’s second studio album stands out as a comprehensive collection of rock songs with a diverse and experimental edge.

Davenport Rex is a music project based in Detroit, Michigan. Their sound is diverse and challenging, yet accessible and appealing. The band’s music stands out as a combination of tasteful progressive rock, with shades of various influences, ranging from alternative to symphonic hard rock, just to mention a few.

“Deux” is the most recent studio effort from the band, and it is a collection of 10 brand new tracks. With their second release, the group set out to create an intricate sound that marks significant development and growth. Opening track, “Shine”, immediately stands out for the beautiful relationship between the fascinating guitar arpeggios and the drum patterns, which lock in together perfectly. The evolving song structure is the first hint of the band’s progressive nature, which shines through even more on other tracks, such as “Bonfires” or “Someday”. On the album, there is also room for melancholic ballads such as “Stolen Heart”, which is filled with lush textures and amazing atmospheres.

One of my favorite songs on the album is certainly “Day After Day”, which strikes me as a perfect combination of the band’s most accessible songwriting and their most experimental nature. “This Old House” is another musical moment that’s worthy of being mentioned as a highlight of this album. The second track of this release is particularly striking, because the vocals have a great rock edge, yet the track has a mid-tempo mood that echoes some of the best alternative rock groups out there, including Pearl Jam or Alice In Chains, just to mention a few.

In conclusion, there are many progressive rock groups out there who try to channel different influences. The endeavor can be risky at times, because attempts at creating diverse music can sometimes fall off the mark and turn into pure indulgence. On the other hand, Davenport Rex truly managed to capture something of value with their new work, creating a genuinely kaleidoscopic collection of music that’s fun to listen to.

Divide & Conquer Music Review 12/15/17

Jim Murphy and Dave Gillespie met in jazz band in college. They quickly developed a friendship and formed Davenport Rex. Last October they released their second album entitled Deux. There wasn’t much jazz on the album but instead it felt more firmly grounded in progressive rock.

The band gets going with “Shine” which was a catchy, well delivered song. It did veer towards a more traditional rock sound in my opinion. In fact there was an ’80s flavor somewhere in there that was hard to pinpoint between the production aesthetics and vocal delivery.

Up next is “This Old House.” I really liked this song because of the dynamics and the different places it went. It started with an acoustic guitar progression and vocals before dematerializing in ambience before the drums, bass and organ are introduced. Speaking of that ’80s influence I was definitely reminded of that on the chorus and on the verse with Pink Floyd-esque guitar solos. There's no doubt it was an ambitious song.

“Someday” was a highlight for me. The song was emotionally resonant and more melancholy and thought provoking. I also thought the vocals really shined here. Great stuff.

“Lullaby” has a reflective, coming of age type quality to it which was enjoyable. I think some of the more progressive elements of the music comes out in “Bonfires.” It’s around the three-minute mark where the band gets experimental by implementing digital sounding orchestral elements before working their way to a rocking chorus.

As the album progress there was a lot to appreciate, “I’m Waiting,” “So Sorry” and “Simple Love” were the other standouts.

​Deux was a really good album overall. The songs were dense  and obviously meticulously created. On top of that the album had a good flow with ten tracks and didn’t feel like it went on too long.

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