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Despistado
The People And Their Verses
Jade Tree Records
www.jadetree.com


There is something subtly addictive about Despistado. Hard to put a finger on, they just exist to create interesting music that thumbs its nose at convention to become original in every meaning of the word.

The music reminds me of Single Frame Ashtray, devoid of preconception, but upbeat and filled with counter-intuitive rhythmical variations that surprise me every time I listen. The drums cover a lot of ground adding the appropriate feel for each song and throwing in these random change-ups during the course of the main lines that keep things from going stale. The guitars and bass literally frolic around each other like they don't care, but make the songs all the more vivid for their contrasting natures; "If Relationships..." is a prime example of the interchangeability of all these players that provides a more robust song than its parts for their interplay. The vocals set rhythmical tones that force you to listen as you try to figure out which way they go next. Overall the structuring of these songs is just simply brilliant, as changes that are the same are never the same, as different instruments swap emphasis to keep things interesting.

The production attempts the impossible by trying to successfully capture this epileptic melee onto a record. It halfway succeeds by helping the changes along and giving the vocals and backing of adequate personality. Vocals use a nice mix of chorus at certain points, while smartly using double vocals for others, and finally bringing backing in for both intuitive and counter-intuitive lines that elevate things nicely. But from a production standpoint the rest of the instruments suffer from a one-level mind frame, such that sound effects vary little across the album. Rare cases of when these coincide with changes such as in "Magnetic Streetlights" do the guitars sound different. So I know it's a nit, but for as original as the band sounds, the instruments should have the same feel.

This is just an awesome record, which shows a very intelligent band at work.

-bishop

Track Listing:

1. Burning House
2. The Memory Of This History
3. Victim
4. If Relationships A Construct, Then I'm A Construction Worker
5. The People Of And Their Verses
6. Plants
7. Magnetic Streetlights
8. This Neighbourhood
9. Test Tube
10. Broken
11. Who Do You Choose
12. My Definition of Tragedy


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Mike Doughty



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