Words by Lauren Gill

I’m just going to take a wild guess and say if you’ve ever heard of Conor Oberst, the first thing that would come to mind probably would not be aggressive post-hardcore punk. That is, unless you’re familiar with the Conor Oberst of Saddle Creek supergroup, Desaparecidos. It seems like the Nebraska-based band has been hiding out for far too long since their 2002 LP, Read Music/Speak Spanish and scattered shows, but on their seven inch single they come back angrier than ever, delivering tracks recognizing Occupy Wall Street and the hacktivist group, Anonymous.

“The Left is Right” comes in at just two and a half minutes, but is plenty of time for Desa to make their stamp of approval for Occupy clear. Punk guitar riffs back Oberst’s urgent voice singing, “If one must die to save the 99/ Maybe it’s justified/The left is right.” In true Conor fashion, he repeatedly shouts, “We’re doomed!” Leave it to Oberst to dish out the doomsday prophecy.

The other track on the seven-inch is titled “Anonymous,” and salutes the hacktivist group of the same name. This track certainly brings back memories of Read Music/Speak Spanish, as Oberst screams “Slay Goliath/ slay Goliath” over a punchy guitar riff. Even though the instruments are a lot louder and a lot more forceful than on other Oberst projects, the quality of the lyrics is far from lost. Differing from the days in which he sang about unrequited love, the Omaha native comes off as well-informed and poetic as he shows off his political side At one point, he admits “Freedom’s not free/And neither is apathy.” Those are the kind of lyrics that make Oberst Oberst.

Hopefully the release of these tracks means that we will be hearing more from Desa in the future, because if there’s one thing (among many) that Oberst is chief at, it’s transforming his anger into music.

© March 12th, 2013



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