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By: Bogar Alonso
“CCR via Minor Threat.” Such proclamation embroiders the MySpace page and website of minimalist rock band Disappears. What better way to describe a group than by their own account? Sure, relying on anyone—including a band in this case—to avow their own traits can, and usually does, yield expected dangers; usually someone who declares themselves the ‘best in the world’ at something, are far from that. It takes the critical eye of an outsider to ascertain any one person’s standing and/or worth in society. But in this case, Disappears comes close. They surely remind of Minor Threat—that seminal punk band with songs shorter than their name—with their labored singing, and haiku like delivery. And they do also dabble in the jubilance that is Creedence Clearwater Revival, even aping some of their trademark jangling guitars.
Photo: Jeremy Bolen
I first caught wind of Disappears back when Wire headlined the Metro last year. I briefly met them backstage, and they seemed nice enough lads. Their unassuming demeanor encouraged me to overlook them as just another opening band, but their aural greeting some hours later pricked up my ears. It was the mirage seasoning of their great “Needs,” that reeled me into their foray.
The band is comprised of Brian Case on vocals and guitar, Damon Carrez on bass, Jonathan van Herik on guitar, and Graeme Gibson on drums. Surprisingly, they have been together for little more than a year, as their clean playing would otherwise suggest. Their two EP’s, Needs/Hearing Things (2008) and Old Friend/Magics (2008) are available to download from their website or Myspace blog for free. Make it a priority to do so, since they do not disappoint and as “Needs” states in chorus: ‘take what you need.’ The two EP’s are infused with playful lyrics and tight instrumentation. So much so, that they’re both clear indications of great things to come. There are instances, especially in the scorching “Magics,” that they harness the glam ghosts of VU. Even coos from Brian sound of eerie comparison to an early Lou Reed, if even by swagger alone. The band has a debut album in the works.
Disappears sound to me more like “Television via Minor Threat.” Perhaps even “Los Planetas via Minor Threat,” but as their lyrics suggest, ‘there’s a lot of history here.’ They have certainly been inspired by it. Now they need to etch out their own notch in music legend.