By Taylor Rodriguez
American indie rock and roots band, Dispatch, released the first three songs of their next project, “Phase 1” in late Oct. 2020.
Consisting of two of the three original members is Brad Corrigan, vocals, drums, guitar, percussion and harmonica, and Chad Urmston, vocals, guitar, bass and percussion.
The original third member, Pete Francis Heimbold, vocals, bass and guitar had stepped away from the band for an indefinite hiatus back in 2018 to deal with his own mental health.
Dispatch provides a mix of fast and soulful folk-rock countered by their slower, more serious pieces.
An example of their varied stylings can be found in “Painted Yellow Lines” from their 2017 album “Location 12,” compared to “The General” off of their 1996 album “Bang Bang.”
This first single previews the style of music that is to come in their 2021 multi-phase album. This initial release will mark the band’s eighth studio album in 2021.
The first song “May We All,” explores a collection of fears and worries that have accompanied 2020. The song discusses the exhaustion and tiredness that comes with living in the current age.
“May We All” keeps the energy high while still presenting serious topics with a fast-paced bridge. With a respectful nod to the death of George Floyd, Dispatch knocks it out of the park with the first song of their new single.
Following that is the second song of their “Phase 1” release, “All This Time.” Of the three songs released, this one is my absolute favorite.
To me, the lyricism and tones found throughout this piece are nothing but perfection. I believe it is the strongest of the three songs both lyrically and musically.
Featuring the vocal stylings of Jake Smith, more famously known as The White Buffalo, “All This Time” delivers a story of a man dealing with the loss of their father and subsequently slipping into substance abuse.
If you have not heard of Smith’s work, you should check out his discography here. He has a large vocal range and his style fits hand in hand with the soulful, message-laden music rock of Dispatch.
More on the serious side, “All This Time” features a catchy and goosebump-inducing acoustic riff that is heard throughout the song.
This riff winds throughout the song, filling the space between lyrics creating a captivating and hope-filled song supported by Smith’s vocals.
The final song of the single, “One By One,” has a lighter beat and mood to it. Despite being about one reminiscing another who isn’t around anymore, the song remains hopeful and energetic.
It features a fast, ska-like percussion intro and offbeat hi-hats throughout the remainder of the song.
It switches up the tempo to match the lyrics. Overall, a great song, albeit a little on the short side. Maybe it was intentional, given the topic of making memories with the time you’re given.
Dispatch still holds its place in my heart as my number one favorite band of all time. I look forward to seeing how the rest of this multi-phased album plays out.
Look for their future releases in 2021 and even potential tour dates. For more info about the band, please go to dispatchmusic.com.