Desaparecidos - “MariKKKopa”
After their surprise reunion announcement back in April, it was only a matter of time before we heard some new music from Desaparecidos, the punk band that Bright Eyes mastermind Conor Oberst fronted in the early 2000s. Although the group disbanded shortly after putting out their excellent 2002 record Read Music/Speak Spanish, Oberst is clearly angry again, and the new Desaparecidos single is testament to that.
This band was never about being subtle, but the gloriously titled “MariKKKopa” might be their most shockingly declarative political statement to date. Over a pummeling instrumental foundation of razorlike guitars, drums, and synth that should be familiar to any Desaparecidos fans, Oberst sets his lyrical sights on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the racist profiling laws recently implemented in Arizona. He’s always been wont to use an ironic turn of phrase, but “MariKKKopa” drips thoroughly and completely in sarcasm and irony. “It’s time we had some justice for the white race on this earth,” Oberst sneers mockingly in the first verse.
There is something that feels very strange about hearing Oberst scream again, and at 32, he can’t quite do it as well as he did ten years ago, but it is remarkably refreshing to hear Oberst get so visceral. After the strange, disconnected Bright Eyes album The People’s Key last year, this new Desaparecidos track is pointing in a positive, angrier direction for Omaha’s former wunderkind.
“MariKKKopa” will be released as a 7” record tomorrow as a double a-side with “Backsell,” another new track, which is currently streaming at Alternative Press. The 7” goes onsale at midnight tonight at the Desaparecidos website.