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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The People of and Their Verses
Jade Tree

Rating: 7/10 ?

August 22, 2005
While the press release calls it an "earnest timbre," Despistado's lead singer, Dagan Harding's, vocal style is more akin to a toneless shout. For the majority of the album, Harding shout-sings over music that is both aggressive and accessible, danceable and dissonant. While it depends on your mood and disposition, The People Of And Their Verses might be a fast trip to Headache Town, but in the right state of mind, the jittery yelps work in a cathartic way to get your own twitches out.

Harding's stiff vocal style fits well with the music that is full of shifting rhythms and staccato guitar riffs. The band does occasionally exercise some restraint, and Harding can indeed work with the more mellow tones, as he does on "If Relationship's a Construct, Then I'm a Construction Worker" - if you can forgive the annoying and overused trick of picking mildly amusing and very long titles for songs, it's perhaps the best moment on the album.

In such fine moments, Despistado bridge the distance between their home in the upper reaches of Canada and the jittery post-hardcore scene of Washington DC. As much as they borrow from anthemic rock, there are also moments of dance-punk and overall spaz. In that manner, the group owes as much to forefathers Fugazi as it does At the Drive-In and Q and Not U.

This music on this album sounds like a band on the rise, which is unfortunate: Despistado had not quite worked out all the kinks at this point, and we'll never know what they were truly capable of, as this debut is also their last album. To their credit, it is better to go out on a good note than something without promise. After listening to this album, I feel that if the band had stuck around, they'd have accumulated a decent following of over-caffeinated punks, anxious to hear what they could come up with next.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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