DETER – A Life Without Colour (Self Release) – 17th September 2021

Glasgow based post hardcore/emo band DETER have dropped an incredible EP that takes a deep dive into raw emotion and gives a fresh kick into the genre. Across the EP there is clear influence from bands such as Casey, Holding Absence, Acres and Movements and it’s evident that DETER certainly sits amongst those bands in terms of the quality of music produced, from ‘A Life Without Colour’ alone.

The EP starts with the full force track ‘Underneath’ that entangles the listener into the blend of killer instrumentation and heart wrenchingly honest lyrics. Singer Jamie Logan’s voice carries such a sense of ache that allows for you to fall into the strong feelings covered within the track. The lyrical themes of the song are unfortunately relatable to many, touching on the subjects of growing up with mental illness in a difficult and potentially broken home environment – Jamie finds a way to take the emotions formed from struggle and create such a beautiful piece of art along with the rest of his band mates in DETER.

With hard hitting lines in the song such as “I’m sick of seeing black and white when everything feels grey” and “Mother would you be alright, if I were to die tonight?” that strongly highlight the difficulty of managing with a struggling mental state. Despite Jamie’s lyrics being incredibly emotional, it’s not only that which carries the dampened feelings of sadness. The instrumentation within the song creates a very heavy atmosphere with great dynamic breakups and lead guitar lines that really cause you to focus on what you’re listening to. The intricate guitar outro for ‘Underneath’ allows for a sense of reflection before you’re then lead into the next track ‘Sick & Tired’.

The lyrical content of ‘Sick & Tired’ is just as touching and emotionally gripping. However, in comparison to ‘Underneath’ this song looks at the subject of mental illness as if you’re looking at someone you love slowly deteriorate and struggle with their own ailments. It’s an incredibly touching song lyrically that gives nothing but honesty on Jamie’s personal experiences throughout life. His ability to write lyrics really allows for you to feel the intensity of emotions that have been felt and it is captured so passionately within the vocal performance.

“From personal experience depression often leaves the individual feeling like a shadow or fragment of who they were prior to symptoms. I saw someone who was full of life gradually fall into someone unrecognisable.”

Jamie Logan

“Depression stole so many beautiful moments from my life and deprived me of cherishing time with my loved ones, it is a condition that takes and takes but never gives anything positive in return.”

Jamie Logan

Musically the influences really shine through with ‘Sick & Tired’ and this song leans heavier into the more post hardcore influences as opposed to ‘Underneath’ which has more of a punchy rhythmic feeling to it that leans more into the energy of a pop punk song. The ending of the track is such a great surprise which has the vocals cut out and instruments carry the listener into a breakdown that delivers you further into the intensity that the song has carried throughout. The musicianship from all members is absolutely rife and it would definitely be a treat to catch that breakdown in a live setting.

Fade Here’ is a great song that leads you in a different direction from the previous two tracks yet doesn’t feel out of place. The quality of the EP just continues to grow and yet again the vocals don’t lack in emotion by any means.

“Cause I’m stuck in my own skin and nobody’s listening oh I can’t get out tonight. And we’re starting to fade here but nothing’s been so clear, that I’m not made for this life”.

This is the only track on the EP that has a feature on it and they brought in the exceptionally talented Jack Very to add some vocals to the end of the track that really help to enhance the depth of the song sonically. There’s such a lingering cloud of emotions that intertwine between both the vocals and instrumentation of every DETER song that I feel really allows for the listener to be caught in their own emotions and relate to each song in their own way.

Despondent/Dependant’ is the last song on the EP which kicks right back into the familiar fast paced heavy hitting sound that the EP started with, before pulling you right back into the chilling more mellow guitar sound captured in ‘Fade Here’. As DETER have highlighted throughout this EP they are more than capable of creating an interesting change in dynamics and consistently switch things up in a way that keeps the listener on edge. The song has a great buildup towards the end that allows for your emotions to crash to a halt – making it a perfect closing track for ‘A Life Without Colour’.

Over the course of ‘A Life Without Colour’ DETER have more than highlighted their ability to create an amazing relationship between instrumentation and vocals to build an amazing series of songs. The production work for the EP – done by Kieran Smith from To Kill Achilles – is top tier work all over and I feel like that’s definitely something that played in favour to the quality of the EP, allowing for the bands songwriting to shine even further. DETER are definitely a band to keep watch of and are sure to grow even further within the post hardcore scene.

Check out ‘A Life Without Colour’ now!

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