Saddle Creek | Desaparecidos | Reviews


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06/04/2002 | FCS Music | | Album Review
Desaparecidos may sound like a name conceived by the use of heavy drugs but it actually holds meaning.  It's a word used to describe the disappearance of innocent citizens by some repressive South American regime. It doesn't leave much to the imagination of what type of point the band might be trying to put across, but i think that generally the purpose of the name. The band consists of Conor Oberst (vocals, guitar) and Denver Dalley (guitar), Landon Hedges (bass, vocals), Ian McElroy (keyboards), and Matt Baum (drums). Matt and Ian also recorded and toured earlier in their career in bright eyes along with Oberst.

     After spending so much time listening to bright eyes' newest "fevers and mirrors" I was pretty shocked to hear that lead man Conor Oberst was releasing and touring with another band coming straight out of mid-town south Omaha and his same label. I was also little worried because there were said to be a "political punkrock band" which is more then a little change from Conor's earlier work with bright eyes. Desaparecidos didn't let me down with this album though they get you caught up in a mix of distorted harmonies and fairly heavy bass lines from the first song all the way though. Although the album is only 31 minutes long the indie rock all-stars manage to compress nine angry songs of love girlfriends, and regret  to company inflation, capitalism and the army. They aren't quite shooting blanks like some so called political punk heroes here, they use alot of refernences to the town that  they all grew up (Omaha) and rise of large companies putting mom and pop stores out of business' in the name of the almighty dollar, referring to such things as " golden arches" and "no more golden feilds, 50 department stores, 60 parking lots". Not saying that bands hadn't already covered these areas but Desaparecidos make is sound like Wal-Mart just came though put their family out of business.

I truthfully think that this is just what Conor needed in a band a lot more noise so that he could get more angry, raise it a few decibels and get crazy aggressive with his unique voice. Conor has always had  the special talent of hanging on to notes in such a way that it almost sounds as if he were going to burst in to tears and this album gives him the perfect space to scream and get  angry enough to  make his vocals cords sound as if they were going to snap. The album starts off with a melodramatic love song any little cardigan wearing elitist hoe would love to listen to any hug a pretty picture of Oberst as he sings "all i wanted to do was provide for you, if you need money for pill, my love I'd cover you" and shit like that and moves right in to something much more yelling and and a pounding baseline in "manana". From there the whole anti-capitalism kick starts with a speech about starbucks before "greater Omaha" ,the album then takes another step back in to a new age love anthem including 2 note high pitch keyboard chorus and tones of reverb, and basically rides the whole political thing  from there on. This album really doesn't have much i can pick on, its the best of both worlds catchy melodies, powerful words, loud guitars and amazing vocals. In my opinion they should take conor out of the recording studios (he's in for a new be album) and get him working on something new for the Desaparecidos, i know im looking forward to it,

this albums a solid 31 minutes of skinny man aggression  8.3 of 10


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