Had Jack White grown up on a strict diet of New York rock ‘n’ roll, he would sound a lot like Devin. Sorting through Devin’s New York influences turns up the usual suspects from the Ramones to the New York Dolls. Each blistering rocker is fueled by a youthful urgency that gleefully sneers at the last decade of indie style to emerge from Gotham.
‘Masochist’ unfolds with a brash attitude dancing all over fuzzy guitars. Digging deeper into the vinyl crates, Devin’s real charm lies in the modern rowdiness he brings to the classic melodies of groups like Dion & the Belmonts and the Shangri-Las. Slowing it down on ‘My Solitude’, Devin adds a little grit to a ballad fit for prom night in 1964. The groove of ‘I Don’t Think I’ could propel a Black Keys album while ‘White Leather’ revels in all things Velvet Underground.
Though there is no dearth of retro acts releasing albums these days, Devin carves out a unique place in the scene on Romancing. Those vocal groups of the late 1950s might seem a little safe to modern ears, but they laid the foundation for the rock ‘n’ roll that followed. Devin revisits those early melodies and turns up the amps, resulting in an album that frolics in its influences without turning its back on 2012.