(Disclaimer: this review was based on an unofficial version of the EP sanctioned by the band. A release date had not yet been announced at the time this review was published.)
The roots of The Deep go back to the time when the NWOBHM opened its floodgates, when the band still went by the name of Deep Machine. An experience of many years writing songs culminates in this new EP, “Watching You”. Here are 4 new songs of pure class, the fruits of a band who knows how to write catchy melodies, who knows how to make you pump your fist in the air, play air-guitar.
Basically we are dealing with a high-octane, Blues-infused Rock and a warm sound which acts as an ideal medium to maximise the impact. This is not a style we haven’t heard before countless times but The Deep execute the material with remarkable passion. At least that’s the impression I get.
For me vocalist Tony Coldham is one of the underrated singers of Rock & Metal but he sounds quite different in live and recorded scenarios. In any case his voice is unfalteringly solid. Once we’re on the subject of band members…two of the songs, ‘Watching You’ and ‘Taking Over’, are the first songs recorded with neo-recruit drummer Alan Mogg. The other songs feature previous The Deep drummer Fraser Powell. As a single unit, the band sounds quite tight too.
Thematically, these 4 new songs are either introspective or observational. One of them, ‘Prepare To Rock’, was written as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Bataclan attacks but it can also be interpreted as a paean to Rock music. But my favourite is ‘Taking Over’, a relentless and infectious song.
Finally, the EP includes 4 live-tracks (segued into each other as 1 track): these are songs that had first appeared in the band’s debut (and only) album and were this time recorded live at the British Steel Festival in France in 2016. All in all, this EP is a neat mini-package with album-type duration (over 40 minutes).
The Deep are already working on their sophomore album and, apparently, the songs in “Watching You” were ones that didn’t fit into the way the album seemed to be developing. In other words, I don’t think they will appear in that forthcoming full-length. All the more reason not to miss this EP then!
THE DEEP live in Belgium (Note: this is not the same live recording that features in the EP):
1. Prepare To Rock
2. Dead Man Walking
3. Watching You
4. Taking Over
5. Premonition/The Rider/All I Want/Night-Stalker (live)
Playing Time: 41:01
Alan Mogg - drums
Phil Reeve - bass
Paul Smith - guitars
Mick Feleppa – guitars
Tony Coldham – lead vocals