To be completely honest, when it comes to the work of singer-songwriter Conor Oberst, I can’t help but feel like I’ve grown out of his work a little bit. I used to be pretty passionate about his overly emotional songwriting years ago, but it’s not something I’ve been all that passionate about as of late. For instance, I didn’t really care for Bright Eyes’ Cassadaga, and the People’s Key made me recoil a bit. Basically, I didn’t really think I’d enjoy another Bright Eyes album again, and now that Oberst had called it quit on his longtime songwriting project, that’s pretty much confirmed.
However, he’s recently revived the band he used to lead back in the day in Nebraska, Desaparecidos. The single streaming above is the first piece of new material they’ve released ten years. A ten-year gap in material brings some pretty lofty expectations, and I’d say Oberst and co. meet the challenge with brave faces.
“MariKKKopa” isn’t just a rowdy, reeling rocker, but it’s also got a message. It’s a lyrical attack on the anti-immigration sentiments that have snowballed in places like Arizona, which is a subject Oberst has been vocal on before. The words are written from the standpoint of some narrow-minded, angry racists looking to keep their hometown of Maricopa white, white, white.
Needless to say, it’s a pretty disturbing depiction, which I’m sure is Oberst’s goal. What better way to shock than to show people raw, angry thoughts that fuel the kind of legislation that’s sprouted up in Arizona?
The production this thing is solid, too. Lots of harmonized guitar leads, energetic drum beats, and the kind of pounding guitar riffs that remind me of how awesome indie rock was when it hit a peak of popularity in the 2000s.