The beauty of 1990’s pop/rock is that the songs had an ample amount of substance and weren’t too concerned about style as they were concerned about crafting memorable songs that were to be forever ingrained in the head of the listener. Dishwalla was extremely successful in that particular endeavor by having that smash hit that is known as “Counting Blue Cars”. It is automatically one of the first songs that we think of when we think of 1990’s pop/rock as that song earned Dishwalla platinum status and where they are still on demand to this day, as they embarked on a summer tour providing direct support for Fuel and Marcy Playground this summer. On July 14th, Dishwalla released their 5th studio album entitled “Juniper Road” via Pavement Entertainment.
This is Dishwalla’s first official release in approximately 12 years since their self-titled record was released in 2005. Dishwalla is composed of Justin Fox on vocals, Rodney Browning Cravens on guitars, Scot Alexander on bass, Jim Wood on keyboards, and George Pendergast on drums. Their Pledge Music campaign for “Juniper Road” was so successful that Pavement Entertainment immediately took noticed and signed Dishwalla to a worldwide record deal. Dishwalla has proven that they will always stay true to their roots, and that is their catchy anthems, driving guitars, and heart-fluttering rhythm section that packs enough groove in there to get the most uptight person out of their seat to rock out.
“Juniper Road” starts off with “Sirens”, and “Sirens” showcases a bit of a different direction for Dishwalla, as it has a desert type of feel to the rock as the song looks for that oasis. That oasis is found in the chorus as Justin Fox soars in the bridge of the chorus, and the melody is wonderful for singalongs as the background vocals blend in magically well with Justin’s lead vocals. I love how it transitions to that anthemic bridge and chorus to kind of a slowed down desert rock type of feel to it. It is a unique way to start off “Juniper Road”. Jim Wood absolutely takes over on the keyboards in Dishwalla’s first single off of this record entitled “Give Me A Sign”. As Justin sings, George Pendergast gets to display his prowess on the drums with a unique rhythm during the first verse. In terms of the lyrical content, this song could take on multiple meanings from a spiritual, religious, or relationship standpoint, which shows that Dishwalla excels at writing lyrics that are universally relatable to the listener, which caused them to be a mainstay from the “Pet Your Friends” days of 1996, where they won a Billboard Music Award for “Best Rock Song” for “Counting Blue Cars”. The bridge to this song is evident as Justin pleads with the listener, “How many times have you been bent to broken/How many times can you give all or nothing/How many things can you give up for wanting” as it kicks into that chorus that will be memorable for the listener.
Tales of love for that special someone and love are evident in the tracks “Here For You”, “Hand In Hand”, and “Waiting On You, Love”. Dishwalla knows how to craft a ballad where it sounds authentic and it doesn’t sound cheesy, in which so many mainstream pop, rock bands fall into that trap. Whoever Dishwalla is writing for in those aforementioned songs are lucky to be with the songwriter of the band. Guitars are soaring and rocking, whether from a rhythmic or lead standpoint, in tracks such as “Mazelike Garden”, “Now I Know”, and “Sirens”. There are blues/tinged, yet feel good tracks as well in this offering.
It has been 12 years and it’s absolutely safe to say that Dishwalla is back! They have released their most heartfelt, most diverse record, and their most well thought out record since 1996’s release “Pet Your Friends”. The lyrics are full of life, the band is operating like a well-oiled machine, and they penned this album as if it was Dishwalla’s last chance to make that impact upon the music world, and “Juniper Road” will surely do that for Dishwalla. Madness To Creation rates this album a 9.5/10 for being astounded at this release, as this record has many memorable moments. Here is the tracklisting below:
- Give Me A Sign
- Mazelike Garden
- Miles Away
- Don’t Fade Away
- Here For You
- Hand In Hand
- Now I Know
- Not Alone
- Darkness Conceals
- Set Me Free
- Waiting On You, Love
Check out the lyric video to “Give Me A Sign” below:
Check out Dishwalla at the following tour dates:
Wednesday, August 2nd- City Winery in Nashville, Tennessee
Thursday, August 3rd- City Winery in Atlanta, Georgia
Friday, August 4th- Hooligan’s Music Hall in Jacksonville, North Carolina (w/Fuel)
Saturday, August 5th- The Stage on Bay in Savannah, Georgia (w/Fuel and Marcy Playground)
Friday, August 25th- Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California (w/Fuel and Marcy Playground)
Saturday, August 26th- XFinity Arena in Everett, Washington (w/Fuel, Eve 6, and Marcy Playground)
Sunday, August 27th- Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Washington (w/Fuel and Marcy Playground)
Check out Dishwalla at the following locations: