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

Like the Deftones, Yes, and Jimmy Eat World, At the Drive-In made wonderful music and inspired legions of listeners to make terrible music. Relationship of Command can’t be beat at its own game, but plenty of 20 year old guys seem to think it can be. It made me wince a bit, then, to see that Despistado cite ATDI as a main influence, and indeed, once I put this EP in, it was difficult to get around the vocalist’s Cedric Bixler-isms and the all-too-familiar labyrinthine guitar leads. Despistado manage to succeed where countless others have failed, though, but taking most of their ATDI crib notes from the band’s earlier, janglier period. All of the songs on The Emergency Response have a gloriously unfettered feel that doesn’t just recall that one band who I keep mentioning, but also a number of other spastic, bewilderingly catchy ’90s emo bands. There’s not a single weak moment during the entire 20 minutes — in fact, some of the stunts Despistado pull are downright riveting, especially on the first and last tracks. This is dynamic, unstoppable music that’s scrappy enough to fit in at a house show but far too competent to stumble about in obscurity.

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