Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

Despistado, hailing from Saskatchewan, Canada, have their first Jade Tree album in this 6-song EP titled ‘The Emergency Response’. Their sound has the raw energy of a vintage rock n’ roll band and the quirky stylings similiar to a band like Modest Mouse. The guitar playing is melodic at times, and more ‘static’ sounding at others. The drumming is very note-worthy, as the rhythms drive several songs. The vocals are a bit raspy at times, and almost always at a lower-tone than the music. The lyrics pull the songs together, with some references to economies and constitutions and such.

"A Stirsticks Prediction" opens up the EP. This song is your basic Despistado song with odd time changes and an overall fast-paced feel. It has a driving guitar riff that can inspire some head-bopping, as well as several catchy lines like ‘that’s very anti-patriarchal of you…to accuse that man of rape’. The band displays a very good instrumental side in the song "Bubbles". This has become my favorite track on the album, mostly because of the opening drum rhythm. It’s totally different than the usual drum-intros. It almost has a tobano-drum feel to it, which is used all the way through, to drive the song. The quirky, melodic guitar riff also adds some catchiness, and the few bass pluckings top it off. The next song, "Hi/Fi Stereo", was recorded live in one session in the studio, and brings much of the same musical style. This song is driven by the drums yet again, and they throw in a lot of cool guitar sound effects in as well. The final track, "Lipstick", is probably the most catchy song on the album. Here they use another quirky guitar riff that is complemented by a nice bass rhythm. The vocals are sung a bit faster than normal, and the pattern of ‘that’s just an observation’ and the backing yells of ‘lipstick’ give the song a fun feel.

Although these guys are from a somewhat secluded area of Canada, they still get the job done. Exposure may be an issue, but their music deserves some attention. Their mix of basic rock influences and indie quirkyness make for a really catchy and enjoyable sound that doesn’t let down in terms of musical talent. In short, these guys really surprised me. They have a great sound going and with a full-length due out later in 2004, show a lot of promise to become a staple in the scene.

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