Circles Around The Sun

Written by: PP on 02/01/2013 22:01:13

Despite achieving mainstream megastardom overseas throughout the late 90s, the quintessential Americana rockers Dispatch have never caught on the same way on this side of the pond. Part of it is because they've never toured Europe in the past, but I like to attribute a much bigger portion to their sound, which is about as quintessential roots rock / Americana rock as it gets outside of Dave Matthews Band. Folksy guitar meshing with hard rock style stadium rock songs all applied through an experimental filter just hasn't appealed to the European culture the same way as it does over there. They're trying to correct that imbalance now with their fifth album "Circles Around The Sun", their first studio album in 12 years, and a subsequent European tour in early 2013.

Though the album opens with the title track bringing a powerful alternative rock sound, it doesn't take long for the band to start moving things into stadium folk realm. Already track three, "Get Ready Boy", takes its cues from 60s folk while also throwing in a great deal of Americana for good measure. We're talking harmonica, ukulele, charango, resonator guitar, slide guitar, keys, saxophone, banjo, mandolin and all the rage, but each instrument tastefully blended into their holistic sound. Much of it relies on an acoustic/electric interplay, and warm, but friendly vocal work, again drawing parallels to the southern themes and experimentalism of Dave Matthews Band across the board. Let's just call it 'contemporary rock' for the lack of a better term - or 'adult rock' or something.

"Circles Around The Sun" passes by in a relaxed pace, and concentrates on the creation of specific moods rather than big and catchy songs full of hooks to reel you in. Of course, balladic "Josaphine" is one song which has radio potential, as is of course the faster Americana rock opener "Circles Around The Sun", but generally Dispatch go for a quieter and more restrained approach. It's a double-edged sword though because even though the musicianship is pretty good, many songs don't do much as anything else than mere inoffensive, mood-setting background music. You could never say that about Dave Matthews Band's songs, which were designed for the active-listener in mind. These, not so much.

Download: Circles Around The Sun, Get Ready Boy, Josaphine
For the fans of: Dave Matthews Band, State Radio
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.08.2012
Universal Records

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