Well, geez...At least one band recognizes it's about time for a
post-punk revivalist, anthem-cluttered debut.
And the crowd yells: "Bring back the Fugazi-glory days,
with a touch of Beatles-like anthem for us!"
And someone has answered. "They have come! What will you do
Most would wager the term 'independent-music' (or indie for short)
is often used loosely, but denotes a band unique in style and persona,
yet true to whatever genre they're building. If this is still a true
statement, consider Despistado one of those on the right track.
Listening to the Emergency Response EP, I tell myself this
is not deja-vu. I think, "I know these guys, I liked guys like
this...or maybe I just heard this on the radio". So few times,
however, do I catch my breath adapting to the reinvention of the quirky-guitar
bravado or the as-of-late newborn politically-aware vocals, so cluttered
with heavy meanings.
Despistado formed in 2001 in the coldest of Canadian regions- Regina,
Saskatchewan. Their debut EP, the Emergency Response, forms
the oddest hypothesis about them. And it's not due to the fact that
they have released an impressive true punk-esque EP in the spirit
of anti-relenting.....But, Despistado are certainly not jaded, despite
what some may say about their resuscitation of music so often thrown
under the bed - to be used only when everything has gone wrong.
Despistado have riddled the post-punk/rock-fusion with new meaning.
Hand-clapping parts, throaty scream-alongs, words that make you
think...and the infamous jumping percussive flow (always heard with
a pair of low-top Converse-chucks). The fuel I needed in my stereo
to bring my pulse in sync with an engine has been revved up again.
Those familiar with the Ian MacKaye-fronted Fugazi or the
now-broken-up Refused, could compare Despistado loosely with
those bands. Not a very off-base comparison in my opinion. The break
down: Opening riff that wails loosely, over-driven and distorted?
Check. Singing- inventively anti-stereo-typical and a rhythm-section
that rolls from place to place? Check. Raucous vocals that chime in
eager floats of quasi-political and social matter, searing with (for
example) "...that's very anti-patriotic of you." (lyrics
by singer/guitarist Dargan Harding)? Check! Well, then we've
got the right antidote to the question of independent music don't
Despistado were signed to Jade Tree records in 2002, and since then
the band has slowly stirred more talk. It's no surprise that their
infectious side-stepping trademarks lend them all the right responses
and energetic participation-repertoire, and have prominently given
them a heedful record to move to, whether you fancy yourself as more
a Ska than Punk or vise-versa.
Credits will, in-time, be given to Leif Thorseth's back-bending
guitars, Joel Passmore's infectious bass-riffs (my favorite
opening bass line starts with Despistado's "A Starstick's Prediction"),
Brenan Schwartz's energetic, percussion backing - passionately
finding middle-ground between simple and intense - and finally, Dargan
Harding's guitar and vocals that involve being zealously in-tune with
a Bob Marley-rock-group side of things while staying leniently post-revolution-happy
at the same time.
Unquestionably, the Emergency Response has something audacious
and high-spirited for the unmixed-matched, seasoning-pool of ska-troglodytes
(bad conjunction, I know), and London brass-tuners for the aesthetically
politically oppressed. In fact, while this release comes off as a
superceding independent punk release in Jade Tree record's recent
signings, it's a given that this indie-band has recognized that it's
about time to rejuvenate the shadows of post-punk's 2004 hotfires,
and hang on as heavy as an important group could ever wish to, all
the while remaining influential and transcendental concert-stage-rockers
in your CD collection.
1. A Starstick's Prediction
2. Can I Please Have An Order Of Girl With A Side Of Confused?
3. Taste This Picture
5. HiFi Stereo
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