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Despistado - The People Of And Their Verses (Cover Artwork)

Despistado

Despistado: The People Of And Their VersesThe People Of And Their Verses (2005)
Jade Tree Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: Matt_WhelihanMatt Whelihan
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Why is it that bands who are far past their prime will continue to crank out mediocre album after mediocre album, but bands that exhibit potential for creating some worthwhile material will call it quits much too early? After only one EP on Jade Tree, Despistado posted notice of their disbandment be.
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Why is it that bands who are far past their prime will continue to crank out mediocre album after mediocre album, but bands that exhibit potential for creating some worthwhile material will call it quits much too early? After only one EP on Jade Tree, Despistado posted notice of their disbandment before their first full-length was even released. Yes, it is a shame that we cannot look forward to anymore releases from these post-punk upstarts, but at least The People Of And Their Verses is a fitting swansong for a band that was loaded with promise.

Their first and last album, which is a download-only release, is an explosive masterpiece. All twelve songs are packed full of power and attitude. The band still bares a lot of resemblance to Acrobatic Tenementera At The Drive-In with their clean guitars, raw production, interesting rhythms and shouted vocals, but this time around there seems to be even more emphasis on groove as the band incorporates Q And Not U-styled dance punk elements into nearly every song.

The album opens with the bouncy "Burning House," a song that will leave you wanting to shake to the beat and punch holes in walls at the same time with its speedy drums, spastic guitars, and back-and-forth bass work. From there the album keeps up a non-stop adrenaline rush of choppy rhythms, dynamic shifts, and post-punk boogie. Tracks like "The Memory Of This History" and "If Relationships A Construct, Then I'm A Construction Worker" both recall Cap'n Jazz with their awkward, jazzy opening riffs before blasting full steam into pounding post-punk, while songs like "The People Of And Their Verses" and "This Neighbourhood" sound like Bloc Party if they listened to more Fugazi and less Gang Of Four, and "Test Tube" and "Who Do You Choose" ditch some of the dance elements for more straightforward rock that is fast and angry.

The band's music is not the only thing that is detailed and intelligent here; the lyrics are also a cut above average, and again recall bands like Q And Not U and At The Drive-In with their socio-political lean. When lines like, "They hold us down then tell us that it's gravity / they use words like 'natural' naturally," "Shoot your election / vote for your gun / the world's the equation / you come after the equal sign, son," "So let's hear it for the dialogue / let's hear it for the contemplation / middle finger your missile defense / my heart's taking unilateral action," are shouted, you realize this is a band with something to say and all the conviction to say it.

Maybe the end of the album is a bit weak with the strange spoken-word-into-stuttered pop ending to "Broken" and the sub-par lyrics on "My Definition Of A Tragedy," but you have to remember this is Despistado's first full-length, so subtle problems can be ignored when the rest of the album is so good.

It is a shame that Despistado have gone the way of the unprolific, but at least The People Of And Their Verses is a spectacular eulogy to help mourn the loss of a great band.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
NachoContreras (October 27, 2006)

as someone who is priviliged to have members of this band as good friends, allow me to comment on a few of your posts.

it is not true that the band members dont get along. as far as I know there is no REAL animosity between the band members apart from a few personal squabbles, however there were a great divergence of views as to the direction the band was taking and what role that it played in their lives. these people are not rock professionals, they are young men who happened to land a big deal with a label like jade tree. admitedly, one member said that he didnt yet develop the discipline necessary to be a professional in the industry. I too am sad that they are no more, but it was simply a case of too much, too soon and it can be terminal burden on young bands. enduring success is something that must be procured organically.

moreover, while music plays a significant part in their lives, there are other responsibilities and interests that the band members have to themselves and their communities that could not have been met at the time when they were a hot new band that everyone was paying attention to.

rest assured however, all four members are still making music with their own projects. leif and dagan have a new band called geronimo which is similar to despistado, but a bit heavier. joel is continuing with his sylvie project which actually he and his wife started before despistado was even formed. brennan's new group is a 5-6 piece (??) called anatta.

http://www.myspace.com/anattamusic
http://www.myspace.com/sylviemusic
http://www.myspace.com/geronimonow

tristan (June 26, 2005)

I'm just as bummed about the break-up as everybody else, but this one's just not as exciting as the EP. Has anyone heard the bassist's new band, Sylvie?

rob_rob (June 26, 2005)

this band is from my home town actually, its was no big secret when they split

Inspection12e (June 23, 2005)

"The EP was awesome. It had so much similarity to so many bands that all sound so different that it kind of came out unique, sort of. I mean ATDI and No Knife sound completely different and yet Despistado sounds like both of them in a way. But I will never buy a download only album. Too bad."

You don't have to buy it ;).

Anonymous (June 23, 2005)

i'm extremely happy i was able to get this from itunes. i love it. the irony in the fact that these guys and other great bands like ATDI break-up while shit bands like the killers and the bravery continue on is sickening.
-TOBB

Anonymous (June 22, 2005)

not bad....but check out Ester drang.

----Travis.

Anonymous (June 21, 2005)

first off not everyone in the band hated each other. |Except for the lead singe and the drummer.

Second they may share a similarity to at the drive in, but in no way did they cop any of their shit. Just because it's indie and it shares similar influences does not mean their copping atdi's sound.

Anonymous (June 21, 2005)

The EP was awesome. It had so much similarity to so many bands that all sound so different that it kind of came out unique, sort of. I mean ATDI and No Knife sound completely different and yet Despistado sounds like both of them in a way. But I will never buy a download only album. Too bad.

stevejonestherealbones (June 21, 2005)

not gay

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Inspection12e (June 21, 2005)

I like this album alot. To bad they didn't release it on cd.

Marlon (June 21, 2005)

I've read elsewhere that none of the members got along. In fact, it's amazing they even managed to get this recorded in the first place. Hopefully the key players will be back.

What I read said they had gotten along up until the point of all the touring and that's what did them in and sort of ruined their relationships.

Anonymous (June 21, 2005)

I've read elsewhere that none of the members got along. In fact, it's amazing they even managed to get this recorded in the first place. Hopefully the key players will be back.

OC

MarkieStabone (June 21, 2005)

this is a pretty fabulous album i must say

jimmy_the_saint (June 21, 2005)

I saw these guys at the Jade Tree showcase in Philadelphia a while ago. They weren't that great live.

threechordsandthetruth (June 21, 2005)

"Burning House" IS At The Drive-In.

Anonymous (June 21, 2005)

This makes me miss the band even more. Such a great record.

Ramo

aubin (June 21, 2005)

This was a really solid record. The EP was good, but I liked this considerably more. The fact that they broke up before it was even releasedwas really unfortunate, and not just because I had to print out my own copy of the artwork.

ElVaquero (June 21, 2005)

Actually I'm sure this sold well.

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/d/despistad o/people-of-and-their-verses.shtml

Haven't heard the new album but didn't like what I remember.

Anonymous (June 21, 2005)

This probably sold about 20 copies.

Did you have to pay for this on iTunes, or did Jade Tree send over the mp3s on AIM?

-Chinatown

inagreendase (June 21, 2005)

Dead on with the comparison descriptions.

This has a few good tracks but kinda tails off after the part about two-stepping on the train tracks with the weight of the world on their backs.

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