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Date Released: April 5, 2005
Label: Jade Tree
- Burning House
- The Memory Of This History
- If Relationships A Construct, Then I'm A Construction Worker
- The People Of And Their Verses
- Magnetic Streetlights
- This Neighbourhood
- Test Tube
- Who Do You Choose
- My Definition Of A Tragedy
The first thing that strikes you about this release from Saskatchewan-based Despistado (Spanish for "confused") is the bizarrely mythic qualities the band has taken on in such a short time. Every review that's previewing the digital-only release The People of and Their Verses (iTunes has it available if you like what you hear) talks about how the band somehow winds up being "sorely missed" despite having just the Emergency Response EP last year and this full-length to their credit; strangely, no one seems to have given Emergency Response rave reviews that these reviews for the LP acknowledge... It is a fantastically clever journalistic loophole of circularity Jade Tree and the band surely must've conjured up as dissolution was in progress. A brilliant gambit to generate hype that probably shouldn't have been there in the first place, Despistado have subtly played the media to their own ends to promote an album that really sounds like a less-inspired Different Damage or perhaps a cleaner, more efficient Wiretap Scars. What was all the hype for, exactly? Yes, their shout-along verses and choruses on tracks like Magnetic Streetlights endear them to the fist-pumping pseudo-revolutionaries among us, but rarely does the music engage the listener with the same vigor. Disappointingly, it feels like the guitars are buried in the mix amid the persistent percussion and well below the vocals. It's only disappointing because this album feels like it needs more anger in those guitar lines, more verve. We'll never know where the band could've gone from here so we can only speculate on how "great" (whatever that means) they could've been. Just know this: Underground heroes in chrysalis are not underground heroes. Believe the hype or believe the music, but don't believe both... You might find yourself, as they say in Spain, despistado. And that would be the greatest pity of all. - Patrick Masterson