DepswaCalifornia alt-metallers Depswa have returned with two new demos on their MySpace page, the first tracks released since 2003’s stellar Two Angels and a Dream. Finding themselves without the support of former record label Geffen, it would appear as if the band is currently searching for a new home. The band seems to be continuing more or less where they left off. The two new tracks display all the elements that made Two Angels and a Dream so intriguing; the mix of unusually well-crafted melody with aggression, Jeremy Penick’s exceptional vocal skills, an incredibly tight band led by Dan Noonan’s creative guitar lines, and of course the mother of them all; undeniably catchy songs.

After touring as support for Mudvayne, Cold, Evanescence, Trust Company, and a slot on the 2003 Ozzfest second stage, Depswa seemed to completely drop off the radar. Depswa has done only a handful of performances locally (near their LA-area home) since then, and, if memory serves, a couple of other new demos surfaced a year or so ago.

That the band has chosen to soldier on in the same direction could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on which side of the fence you’re on. As an ardent supporter of this band I was frankly baffled that their debut record didn’t gain more traction. However, this lack of traction begs the question: why didn’t it work the first time? Could just be that the label didn’t properly support the record; this might also explain why it’s been so long since we’ve heard from Depswa. Perhaps the band has been involved in a legal mess trying to get out of their contract with Geffen. I’d be curious to know the answer.

The core of the band is still intact; it appears that only 2nd guitarist James Mills has left. These two new tracks do, however, demonstrate more lead guitar flourishes from Dan Noonan, a move which I think is a positive one for the band that have may have been repressed in the past by nu-metal producer guru Howard Benson. Freed from the shackles of major label A&R scrutiny, I hope this is a sign that the band will take a few more adventurous risks on their new material.

Depswa are a very talented group of guys with way more musical ability and a better sense of songwriting than most of the above-mentioned bands they toured with. Hopefully they can find a label willing to take a chance on the band to put out another record.


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