November 18, 2004
DESPISTADO - 11/24 - ROCK ISLAND
If only Repeater-era Fugazi had sounded like the members were actually having fun, or (International) Noise Conspiracy had come from freezing Regina, Saskatchewan, instead of freezing Umeå, Sweden, then Despistado's twitchy take on obliquely political hardcore might not sound so fresh. As it is, these four friends -- the first non-U.S. band signed to Jade Tree -- blow the doors off a self-regarding scene with white-hot dance-floor hardcore from the Great White North. While vocalist Dagan Harding shouts enigmatic lyrics about love, laws and materialism, guitarist and lifelong friend Leif Thorseth jerks and shudders. Meanwhile, drummer Brenan Schwartz and four-stringer Joel Passmore doggedly pound out a rump-shaking foundation. Coming from a city that boasts only 2,365 hours of sunshine each year, it's no surprise that Despistado generates plenty of intelligent hardcore heat.
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