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June 1, 2004

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With a full length debut coming later this year, fans of eccentric hot blooded punk maybe somewhat excited by young Jade Tree foursome, Despistado. The foursome has only been together a mere four years but already they have been signed to one of the major ‘indie’ punk labels and you can tell the Canadians love it. Their music comes across as a kind of sombre Blood Brothers mixed with the aggression of ATDI and although it may not be to everyone’s tastes, they have a good stab at something different and with that sort of drive, it is hard to find faults.

‘The Emergency Response EP’ is opened strongly with arguably the best track of the six in the shape of ‘A Stirsticks Prediction’ as it begins with cracking melody laden guitars and samples before throwing you into the heady world of the band. What follows is a variation of this biting formula and although some tracks can become grating, you still admire what the band try to do. While the tongue twisting ‘Can I please have an order of girl with a side of confused?’ is out of the pop-emo name pot it darkens the feel but strong harmonies and vocals save it, along with ‘Taste this Picture’ which also suffers the same fate. ‘Bubbles’ ups it a notch in a sweeping song that builds the snare drum and chinking guitars into a frenzy, while it ends on a relative high with ‘Lipstick’ which is more than familiar to the opener on the EP.

Despistado prove that sending demo’s to a record label does work (Jade Tree co-owner Darren Walters owner went to see them in Canada after hearing their CD) and it is testament they have crafted something different but with a familiar sound in the six songs. Whether they burst out of the blocks with the up coming album is yet to be seen, but this will serve them well for the time being.