DESPAIR JORDAN: Before Your Wings Gave Out: LP

Jul 20, 2022

Here’s a case of a goofy-ass name selling a band a little short. Easy to write this record off before it’s even spun, which is too bad, because this is a nuanced, smart, mature—and I mean that in a good way—rock album that reminds me a lot of bands like the Hold Steady or Gaslight Anthem, particularly in the way that there’s almost always a lead guitar at work over, and sometimes against, the vocals. And vocals, surprisingly, stir up a lot of U.K. college pop stuff from the ’80s: clear and precise, decipherable. Shit, guy’s voice is almost Peter Murphy-like, which shouldn’t work here but absolutely does. Layered and thoughtful material, with most of the songs landing in the six- to eight-minute mark. The band seems more interested in texture than velocity, and normally that would do little more than put me to sleep, searching desperately for a hook somewhere, but they absolutely manage to pull it off here. A pleasant surprise. Had this come out on 4AD or Rough Trade in the ’80s, I could imagine these Denver nerds possibly being mentioned in the same breath as the Pixies or the Psychedelic Furs. Recommended. –Keith Rosson (Snappy Little Numbers)