According to the English-Spanish dictionary I purchased during highschool during my ill-advised attempt to become bilingual, the word "despistado" means "confused". Now, when we apply it to the band Despistado we surmise that the band name isn’t that indicative of the song that you can expect to hear from the band, but it’s also not completely inaccurate. "The Emergency Response" is a twenty minute slab of energetic, angular post-punk music that is all over the metaphorical shop, yet doesn’t particularly suffer because of it.
Everything that the band is capable of doing right is neatly summed up by the opening track, A Stirsticks Prediction. In the course of three and a half minutes, the band unleashes a furious assault of noise, with shards of guitar noise cutting through the mix, anthemic shouted lyrics, and swathes of percussion that rain down all over the music. It’s compelling, it’s intense, and it’s by far and away the best song here.
In fact, after the brilliant opening track, the rest of the album does sound a little flat. I realise that it’s probably simply not possible to keep the level of intensity displayed in the opener up for a whole EP, but it still ends up sounding a little disappointing. Not that the other five songs here are crap or anything, the intertwined guitars of Lipstick are impressive, as is the dense, stuttering bass of Taste This Picture. It’s just that after the superb first track, they just don’t measure up. Still, if these five tracks were all that were here, I’d still be impressed, and the band experiment a little on the later songs, which is a pleasing sign that the band have more in their bag of tricks than one awesome song.
"The Emergency Response" is about as good a debut EP as you could possibly ask for, and it’s one that can easily stand up to releases from more established bands. Despite the name, there doesn’t seem to be any confusion in Despistado, the band know exactly what they’re doing, and they do it very well.