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The Despondents

The Despondents

August 9th 2010
DWC1045, Dirty Water Records
Punk Rock, CD, Download

The Despondents formed in the summer of 2006, after the success of a number of bands in their hometown of Leeds resulted in the local music scene becoming over-trendy and fame obsessed. Wanting to have nothing to do with the prevalent attitudes, with music being looked at as a career rather than a passion, they channelled their disillusion into their own music, into doing their own thing, rather than chasing the coat-tails of the current next big thing.

Taking their cues from punk and garage bands past and present, their aim is to bring us short sharp rock’n’roll tunes that hit you like an atom bomb. And, boy, do they deliver! Shuddering basslines, screeching guitars, insane vocals and a drummer who makes Keith Moon seem like a choirboy! Each song is filled with its own self belief and expectation.

The Despondents play with a sense of impish glee, mixing up a heady brew of wholesome beats, elements of late-’70s new wave (such as on the groovetastic beach party sounding “California”), early-’80s DC hardcore (especially on the frantic “Gotta Get Away”), various punk rock casualties from the wrong side of the street (the Dwarves, the Nomads, the Mummies and early Mudhoney) and rock’n’roll from all eras (“Advice” is a rumbling melody that seems as though it would be at home in a sleazy ’50s diner, leftover food congealing under a cloud of cigarette smoke, the joint shaking with the vibe of frenzied hep cats dancing in crazed fashion beneath brylcream soaked quiffs manically a-quiver).

The ever-trusty Electric Roulette website says: “The Despondents are here and they’re ready to kick you in the balls with no chords and the fat well and truly trimmed. There’s nothing bad I can say about this record. It’s hard, fast, no frills, full to bursting with attitude and verve. In short, it’s fucking ace.“

To bring this to a point, these three boys are making rock’n’roll exciting again. They take risks with their sound, straddling genres and eschewing “scenes”, to make what they think is the best music there is. Remember – there’s no such thing as punk, no such thing as garage, no new wave, no hardcore, no rockabilly: just rock’n’roll.

  1. Dressed In Black - 2:05
  2. Stoned - 1:17
  3. California - 1:40
  4. Got Nothing To Lose - 3:00
  5. Schizophrenia - 2:15
  6. You Stupid Girl - 1:37
  7. Gotta Get Away (England Sucks) - 1:05
  8. Get Out (Of My Face) - 2:17
  9. If God Exists - 2:19
  10. Out Of My Head - 2:12
  11. Talking 'bout Love - 2:24
  12. So Hung Up On You - 2:37
  13. Advice - 1:23
  14. Grand Theft Auto - 1:45
  15. Wild Man - 2:48

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