Desaparecidos – Payola

It’s over 12 years since Desaparecidos took an extended break while singer Conor Oberst occupied himself with Bright Eyes. First impressions are that time has mellowed the Nebraska punks, for an anthemic bounteousness and almost disconcerting facility pervades every song. Smooth, almost ’80s riffs, impossibly neat chord changes and neatly crafted hooks… the sheer competence and musicality is practically disturbing. For instance, the chorus of MariKKKopa is almost indecently commercial. Then, as you join in the sing-along chorus, you realise the narrator is a redneck sheriff, rounding up Hispanic immigrants. “Knock knock knock, drag them from their beds,” he proclaims, joyfully. The story is based on controversial policing in Maricopa, Arizona, where prisoners overspill into tent cities while the local sheriff obsesses over Barack Obama’s birth certificate. It’s a typical device of this terrific LP, which depicts a sickness at the heart of America with a confident swagger and righteous anger. Watch City On The Hill here:

Hear MariKKopa here: