Kevin Devine


Procrastinate! Music Traitors

Rating: 3.5/5




For the past fourteen years Kevin Devine has led an almost schizophrenic recording career, varying from quiet and intimate acoustic releases to full tilt rock and power pop. This is his ninth full length solo release to date, in addition to his prolific solo output he has recorded albums with Bad Books and released the ambitious Devinyl Splits series of singles, that saw him teamed up with the likes of Brand New‘s Jesse Lacey, Perfect Pussy‘s Meredith Graves and Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws. His latest album, Instigator, is released today on his own label, Procrastinate! Music Traitors, and given his prolific and diverse recording history I have no idea what to expect from his latest album.

Instigator kicks off with a slice of power pop in No Why, and the title track that follows it retains similar qualities, but with more of a lovelorn Husker Du feel, just when you think you’ve got an idea on the direction of the album you get the fine track Magic Magnet, which sounds like Nirvana with a sunnier disposition, and then it heads into mellower downbeat acoustic territory for Freddie Gray Blues. Instigator then delivers another double dose of sparkling summery power pop with No History and Daydrunk, before you’re thrown into yet another direction with the superb new wave influenced Both Ways which leads into the sumptuous acoustic number No One Says You Have To. Guard Your Gates is another downbeat indie number and then you get Before You’re Here, which sounds to my ears like a 1950s love song that’s been transplanted into the present day, and finally the album ends with the melancholy acoustic number, I Was Alive Back Then.

Instigator is a difficult album to get a feel for, as it hops between styles and genre’s constantly over the eleven tracks, it’s unlikely that you’ll find every track to your taste on this album. Kevin Devine will always make the music he wants to make, in the style he wants to make it in, and you can’t help but admire him for that as he is a truly unique and independent figure in today’s DIY scene. Instigator is a album that encompasses so many styles it almost feels like a compilation of singles that were released over a period of several years, my personal favourites on this are Magic Magnet, Both Ways and Before You’re Here, but whatever your tastes are I guarantee that almost everyone will find their own selection of perfect moments on this album.

Instigator can be ordered via Procrastinate! Music Traitors here