Dark, thrilling, and memory-soaked, Desmerelda provides a time capsule to brighter days with “Tango with the Hypnotist.”
“Tango with the Hypnotist” – Desmerelda
I had a ritual when I was younger that involved losing myself to a slew of varying songs, musicians, and genres, but the medium wasn’t an album or compilation – it was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. The first game I played from the series was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, and that game introduced me some of the best in rock and rap, giving me the perfect soundtrack to skate around warehouses and desolate school campuses with. The best part of it was that I wasn’t alone in these explorations – my older brother, Ivan, joined me in the skateboarding adventures, providing my younger self countless hours of unfettered joy and reasons to keep on smiling.
These moments in my life are some of the most cherished ones I have, but years go by and memories can sometimes begin to fade, and with my brother and I being on opposite sides of the country, it’s not always easy to keep them fresh. However, Desmereleda unintentionally reinvigorated my hazy memories with their track “Tango with the Hypnotist,” bringing with it a wave of glee that leaves me grinning for the entirety of its three-minute duration, and what a sensational three minutes they are.
The track opens with fuzzy guitar riffs that harness anthemic rock and punk-rock soundscapes, providing an instant head-bopping effect. With the melody in place, the track only grows in its rawness, becoming grittier, darker, and insurmountably addicting. It’s this melody that harkens back to my laid-back afternoons, grabbing the controller from my brother so I could show him how to actually play the game. One track in particular from the game, Powerman 5000’s “When Worlds Collide,” made us pause each time it repeated, instilling us with an idea that we were both rockers in our right, skating and causing debauchery across the globe and even the moon itself. Even if only virtually.
This is what “Tango with the Hypnotist” provides me: those same feelings of becoming the badasses my brother and I dreamed about. The track gives me back my youth – the moments in my life where happiness was only a button press away, the moments where family was no farther than a footstep from the doorframe. As the track continues, when the vocals begin to take center stage, it becomes a bustling scene of punk tendencies that are tied together with an abrasive yet captivating presence that gets hearts pounding and bodies moving. The track then takes a pause, giving a brief moment of reprieve as the melody starts to bubble up.
At the track’s end, an onrush of instrumentation swarms the ear and wraps itself around listeners’ minds. In my case, my hippocampus is becoming as active as ever, revisiting the moment when my brother and I just unlocked Darth Maul in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, taking him out for a naval adventure via the cruise ship map while AFI’s “The Boy Who Destroyed The World” blares into our faces. It was the perfect anthem to let out our frustrations as we tried to get over the fact that our totally original skate trick was stolen right before our eyes (the cannonball). That stress-relieving nature surrounds “Tango with the Hypnotist,” providing the perfect outlet to let go of worries and simply enjoy the moment that is taking place currently. And with one last slick guitar riff, we’re played off in an extravagant fashion.
Music is an art form nonpareil, providing experiences that cannot be rivaled. The feelings certain melodies can elicit are strange yet comforting, and Desmerelda provided this for me, giving me a glimpse back into the days of familial bonding over reckless skating habits, general mayhem, and an unlimited supply of laughter. “Tango with the Hypnotist” has a place within the punk and rock spheres (and, of course, within the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise), fitting alongside CKY, Agent Orange, The Adolescents, and more. It’s a track one can bang their head to or just jump uncontrollably to while the rhythms sweep them away. So here’s to Desmerelda: a band that has given me the biggest smile I’ve had in years, and I’m hoping more will soon follow.
“Tango with the Hypnotist” – Desmerelda
? © Phil Capone
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