Dastard – Dear Empty Sky 2008-2010 CD (2010, self-released): DASTARD was a band from Lansing, IL that I really, really liked. I later ended up playing bass in the band for about a year, but that’s irrelevant to this material. This CD combines the songs that comprised the first demo and the tracks for what was going to be a split with one-man pop punk project LATER OPERATOR.
While DASTARD would end sounding a bit heavier and slower in the tradition of bands like WEEZER, these songs are a bit poppier and a bit punker. Yeah, pop-punk, but you know on here you only get the good stuff. Smash the CRIMPSHRINE/JAWBREAKER split together, mix in a little bit of TUESDAY, and some early 2000’s band in the vein of JOHN BROWN BATTERY or the catchiest, most concise HOT WATER MUSIC songs. The key is to then have this concoction played by great musicians, all of which previously played in everything from emo bands to straight up grindcore bands, in a way that is totally urgent and engaging. Throw in a BLACK FLAG quote and that’s what you get here.
DASTARD were my favorite Chicago area band when they existed and were sorely under-rated outside Chicago due, in my estimation, to a precise mixture of self-deprecation, location, and a desire to just play instead of sweating the rest of the dumb stuff that can come with being in a band. At some point I’ll put up a live set that showcases some of the material that never got a proper recording, but for now just enjoy these ten jammers. Members would go on to play in tons of bands like SEA OF SHIT, CARBONLEAK, BIG ZIT, RAW NERVE, and tons more, but DASTARD will always hold a very special place in my heart.
Oh yeah, the packaging for this thing is great, so there’s a lot of scanned details with this. You’re welcome.