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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

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
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Despistado
The Emergency Response EP
Jade Tree

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The members of Despitado must be Vikings: menacing, ass shaking, pill popping Vikings.

Exhibit 1: Lead singer and guitarist is named Dargan (or Dagan, depending on which sentence in the press release you believe), a name that goth kids will surely name their children; the other guitarist is named Leif, a name which conjures up images of pillage, plunder, and the eternal warrior delights of Valhalla.

Exhibit 2: The group hails from Regina, Canada, a place so cold and frigid it might as well be Norway.

Exhibit 3: While not exactly invading and burning villages all across the European continent, they know how to fuck shit up in their own way.

Jade Tree's newest signing is a little funky punk band from The Great White North. Despistado capture the unpredictability of a band like At The Drive in, with the danceable guitar and bass lines and overall DC sound of a group like Q and Not U, or the retro 80s flavor of the Ramones or even the Cars. The group has captured a sound that is nearing its peak in underground rock, then taken the formula and run with it. The blistering opening of "A Stirstick's Prediction" Launches the EP off like a jittery rocket. Its seizure inducing rhythm will have you quaking shortly.

The peak of this EP having been reached within the first track, Despitado falls short of reaching the heights of the opener. The immediacy and urgency is consistently high throughout these six tracks, but none of the other five is as memorable and essential as "A Stirstick's Prediction".

They do come close, however. "Can I Please Have an order of Girl with a Side of Confused" is biting. The lead vocals and backups bark and yelp, and along with some choppy riffs, it's a pleasant cacophony of dissonance. "Lipstick" comes the closest to sounding like Fugazi, but even so is a little more light-hearted than anything Mackaye and Company are wont to produce.

On potential alone, Jade Tree has made a wise decision to sign these guys. For a proper label debut, Despistado shows the right elements of abrasion, melody, anger, and musicianship to go far.

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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