DESPERO: Somewhere Near the Bottom: CD

La Escalera has a strong roster of melodic punk bands and Despero does nothing to dilute that current pool. Somewhere Near the Bottom ticks a whole bunch of boxes for me: a big wall of guitars; crisp, battering drums; gruff vocals; and some really sumptuous tunes. In fact, my only criticism would be that I could do with a couple more tracks, as this only features nine. Minor gripe aside, this is a great listen which gets me all pumped up and bouncing on the balls of my feet. –Rich Cocksedge (La Escalera, [email protected], laescalerarecords.com)