New Album Review


This review can also be seen in the latest issue of The Technician.


Conor Oberst got his big break as singer-songwriter and guitarist of Bright Eyes and has since moved on to other musical projects, including Desaparecidos. Formed in 2000, Desaparecidos demonstrates a subtle maturation in Oberst’s lyrics, transitioning from teenage melancholy to focused, politically charged angst. Payola is the first album from Desaparecidos released in more than a decade, but the band definitely hasn’t lost any of their edge since 2002′s Read Music/Speak Spanish

Pounding drums and rapid guitar drive Payola, along with Oberst’s familiar melodic vocals. And with his philosophical musings, Oberst presents his anger in the form of criticisms of government. In the album’s first song “The Left Is Right,” he sings “If one must die to save the 99/ Maybe it’s justified/ The left is right/ We’re doomed,” which is a direct reference to the Occupy Wall Street political slogan “We are the 99 Percent.” With the band name chosen in remembrance of those of lower financial status who disappeared after being arrested at the hand of military dictatorships, it’s no surprise that the 2013 single “Anonymous” closes the album with a hate message of unrest about control and the wealth gap: “Can’t live today off that minimum wage unless you sleep on the factory floor.” Oberst screams his explicit disgust toward the economy, comparing the United States government to George Orwell’s Big Brother. Payola finishes as a punk rock album with Oberst targeting government, shouting “We’re the Tattletale/ We’ll see your All-Seeing-Eye in hell.”

Favorite Tracks: “Golden Parachutes”, “Backsell”, “Marikkkopa”, “Te Amo Camila Vallejo”

– Julie Smitka, WKNC Blog Editor

Music News and Interviews

DJ Ones Five Music Facts from the past week

1. Arcade Fire have been nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year with their latest release “The Suburbs.” In response to the nomination member Win Butler stated, “We are very proud of the record we made and feel incredibly blessed that so many people have gotten it! For those of you who don’t understand how gambling works, if something is 100 to 1 odds and you put down 10 dollars, you win 1000 dollars… I’m just saying.” (via Stereogum)

2. Actor Michael Cera is now playing in the new Sub Pop band Mister Heavenly. The actor, known for his roles in Juno and Arrested Development is now the bass player for Mister Heavenly. However, this does not make him an official member of the band as indicated by a Sub Pop representative who said, “As of right now he is not an official member, just playing with the guys on this tour.” (via NME)

3. The Joy Formidable have given information about their debut full length. The album titled “The Big Roar” is due to be released in the UK on Jan. 24 and in the US a couple of months later on March 15. (via NME)

4. Bright Eyes is set to return with a new album titled “The People’s Key” on Feb. 15. This will be the band’s first since their 2007 release “Cassagada.” (via Pitchfork)

5. Wolf Parade are to go on indefinite hiatus. In a statement by singer Spencer Krug during their recent show in Toronto he announced, “This is the last show we’ll play for a long time.” The band has since said they will play just a few shows in 2011. (via Spinner)