Manchester trio DDE’s have stayed true to the city’s indie roots in their creation of a catchy, melodic rock’n’roll sound that just sounds like Manchester.
The band first started out around two years ago when Dan Brown (vocals and guitar) put an advert on a musicians’ page and John Page (bass and vocals) answered his call. New drummer Alex Black joined later as the band set about creating a sound Dan modestly describes as “The Absolute Bollocks.”
Strangely, DDE’s have an odd knack for creating songs that immediately sound familiar, even for people that are listening to them for the first time. As Dan puts it: “Balls to the wall rock’n’roll along with some subtle moments, but first and foremost every track has to sound like an anthem! Like you have known it for years with catchy melodies and singalong choruses.”
And he does have a point, DDE’s mix catchy, singalong vocals with driving chords and funky riffs, which is portrayed by debut EP Calm Before The Storm, which was released earlier this year. On the EP, Dan tells us: “The title is actually about how the tracks are laid out and how they take you on a journey. So you have the calming almost eerie acoustic bliss of It’s Gonna Get Wild then into the eye of the storm that is the rock n roll onslaught of Cheer Soul then that whirls you around then into the pop punk deliciousness of Lucy then out the other end of the storm into the calm of Old.
The EP opens up with reverby sounds in the intro to It’s Gonna Get Wild, which feed into calming acoustic guitar chords and a light flickering lick as Dan’s engaging vocals kick in: “You talk the talk, But can you walk the walk, You never been here before, It’s gonna get wild, You know your fate, You just don’t fear this place, You never been here before, It’s gonna get wild.”
The vocals pick up pace and become very Kerry Jones-esque as they flow into a catchy little chorus. That drops into light guitars and backing strings, which continue under another chorus to bring the track to a close.
The pace picks up in the really catchy Cherry Soul, which opens up with a cool guitar riff, backing vocals and driving drums. Lively drums and guitars support Dan’s catchy vocals and continue as it seamlessly flows between verses and choruses.
One of those choruses drops into a little guitar solo blitz and feeds into another upbeat, catchy chorus. Then another funky little guitar riff and bassline lead a fun rockout that feeds into backing vocals bringing the track to a lively ending.
The EP rounds out with the funky, punky Lucy and final track Old, which we always expect to feed into John Lennon singing “You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one.” But, of course, it doesn’t.
Anyway, we love the sound of older single Shoot You Down, which is very much rooted in that classic Manchester indie sound. Lively guitars support big catchy vocals and feed into an engaging chorus, which ends with a funky little guitar solo. Give it a listen here:
DDE’s sound has been influenced by Noel Gallagher, as well as bands like Kings Of Leon, Stereophonics and The Eagles. As Dan explains (we didn’t ask him to explain himself!): “These are the main influences for us and we are not ashamed to wear those influences on our sleeves. If you like a certain type of music and style then why wouldn’t you want to write songs like that? It’s a no brainer.”
And on their musical inspiration, Dan continues: “It all depends really on the day and the just being in the right moment with either a riff we have been messing around with or even working a song around a song title that we have come up with so its really varied. On the EP they are all about lots of different things really, from going out and having a good time (Cherry Soul) to feeling quite lost (Old). So it really depends on where the song takes me as I’m writing it really.”
The band is already working on not their debut EP’s follow-up Something Wicked This Way Comes but also a third offering Here Comes The Sun. Dan explains that the second offering in particular “is a lot heavier and we are dying for people hear those first and foremost.”
So there’s plenty to come from a band that’s already made a strong impression with its first flurry of singles and debut EP. And, as Dan adds: “You should get your tickets in now for any upcoming gigs we announce because soon you ain’t going be able get hold of any.”