Before Your Wings Gave Out

despAIR Jordan

Snappy Little Numbers Records, 2022

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


An outfit made up of members from bands like Sleeper Horse, Tin Horn Prayer and Sugar Skulls and Marigolds, despAIR jordan is an all star ensemble of Denver punk and hardcore veterans who trim the intensity of their formative years back.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The group’s six-song debut record leads with the firm guitar of Danny Aranow and booming vocals of Josh Friedman that abruptly shifts into a swirling post-punk approach that might make you nostalgic for Joy Division. “Rhapsody In Black” then follows with warm vocal cooing that welcomes plenty of melody into the darker textures of warmth and grit. Side A finishes with the seven-plus minutes of “Cathedral,” where atmosphere is key and very skilled drumming from Andy Thomas makes an impression amid some psychedelic nods. Deeper into the track, a much louder version of post-hardcore enters as Friedman's powerful vocals soar.

On the back half of the listen, the rugged and scrappy “Train Wrecks Of The Great Lakes” showcases the incredible rhythm section of Thomas and Matty Clark (bass) for some great, driving post-punk, while “Prayers Could Never” is quite pretty, even pop-influenced underneath the radiant textures that hint at shoegaze. “The Artist,” the last track and longest, then spends the better part of 10 minutes mesmerizing us with busy moments of early '80s rock, as well as calm periods of post-rock simmering.

Six songs of despAIR jordan is simply not enough. Thankfully, the LP comes with a download code for these tracks, plus the Hell Year EP. For fans of legends like Interpol, Television or Elliott, you'll likely play this on repeat endlessly.

Oh, and the band name? Sounds like it started as a joke; what kind of shoes does Robert Smith (The Cure) wear?

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2022 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Snappy Little Numbers Records, and is used for informational purposes only.