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More Info:More than a decade after putting out their first album, Desaparecidos return with a follow-up that breathes new life into their brutal fusion of protest music and punk. Though the band never truly parted ways, vocalist/guitarist Conor Oberst, guitarist Denver Dalley, keyboardist Ian McElroy, bassist/vocalist Landon Hedges, and drummer Matt Baum have spent much of the past 13 years pursuing other ambitions (including Oberstís work as a solo artist and Bright Eyes frontman). Fueling their Epitaph Records debut Payola with the same spirit of unrest that propelled 2002ís Read Music/Speak Spanish, Desaparecidos now match that passion with a fuller, more furious sound and gut-punching commentary on everything from immigration reform and the healthcare debate to gun control and Wall Street bailouts.
With its title capturing what McElroy calls ďthese endless examples of whatís wrong with the whole money culture happening in America today,Ē Payola was co-produced by the band and their longtime collaborator Mike Mogis (First Aid Kit, The Faint, Man Man). Recorded in several bursts over the past few years at ARC Studios in Omaha, the albumís 14 tracks pack a barrage of outcry and insight into each sharply crafted lyric while storming forward with a ferocious energy. And in their implausibly melodic blend of blistering riffs, lead-heavy rhythms, and savage vocal work, Desaparecidos reveal a bottled-up intensity that suggests a band whose chemistryís stronger than ever before. ďIt wasnít like we were trying to recapture some former glory,Ē says Oberst of Desaparecidosí long-planned reunion in the studio. ďIt was like we had to do this, and we had to do it now.Ē