So listen, I’m not quite sure I know how to accurately put into words what’s going on with DISPARAGER and their new album Existential Dread (self-released, out now). I will say this, though: this shit is all over the place, but that’s actually kinda cool. You’ll find elements from the 90’s, 00’s, And today, sometimes within the same song. Vocalist Christopher ahKao goes from maniacal screams to crooning, again, sometimes all within the same song. Imagine being in a relationship with someone who goes from all smiles one minute to throwing a wooden chair against the wall the next and you’ll get an idea of what I mean.
Over the course of nine tracks and a prelude we the listeners are taken on an emotional rollercoaster ride of sometimes epic and grandiose proportions. Other times the songs are very understated and mellow. And in among all that we also get some noisy rock that totally belies the attitude you’d expect out of a band from Brooklyn, NY. The tracks that really grabbed me from go were “Bring Me to Bellevue”, “Existential Dread”, and “Fall”, all of which fall directly in the middle of the record; the heart of it, if you will.
“Promise (I’ve Already Surrendered)” and “Couldn’t Tie You Down” are as different as night and day, but they fit alongside the rest of the songs, the latter reminding me of a heavier version of THE STONE ROSES. Quite honestly I didn’t know what the fuck was going on the first time I put this record on, which was kind of exciting and a little scary. The more I listened to it though, the more I liked it. I’m not gonna sit here and pretend like I “get it” because I’m not some pretentious hipster twat. I just know what I like.
And I like DISPARAGER. I like that they made the album THEY wanted to make. I like that they did it on their own terms and self-released it so no one could try to step and in and compromise their artistic vision. There’s something truly admirable about that. Is this record for everyone? Hard no. But if you’re an open-minded person who enjoys music that can be both heavy and atmospheric while also having something to say then I think you’ll dig these guys. But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Pick up a copy of Existential Dread and see for yourself.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Bring Me to Bellevue”, “Existential Dread”, “Fall”