The Happiest Place on Earth
Author: Peter D'Angelo
12/01/2001 | Basement-life.com | www.basement-life.com | Album Review
Desparecidos is the new "rock" project headed up by Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes. Also along for the ride are sometimes Bright Eyes keyboardist Ian McElroy, Good Life bassist Landon Hedges and Omaha locals Denver Dalley and Matt Baum. Far from the overtly emotional and musically downtrodden exploits of Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos play heavier pop tinged rock music that at times features screamed vocals and dissonant changes. On their debut single, a precursor to their full-length due out early next year, the band makes a powerful first impression that should leave fans of Bright Eyes and good heavy pop thirsty for more. Opening with its chugging title track, the band makes surprising use of chunky guitars and distorted keyboard lines to evoke the sound of an infinitely heavier version of the Rentals. Oberst will probably surprise a few folks with his grittier than usual vocals, and those who have heard his early work in Commander Venus will notice a similar but much more polished sound. Lyrically the emotionally overwrought singer tends toward worldlier and at times less believable topics from joining the military to the newest fashions ("Whats New For Fall"). Desaparecidos are an impressive force whose full-length will certainly turn a lot of heads, and the strength of this single, not to mention two otherwise unavailable tracks, make this a worthwhile purchase for both Oberst fans and those who can't help but be a little curious about the newest rock force from Omaha.
This disk is unavailable in stores, but is currently available directly from Saddle Creek's website.