CD REVIEW: Dispatch "Dispatch EP"

Dispatch EP
After officially calling it quits in 2004 with a free show in Boston to 110,000 of their truest fans, Dispatch has returned for a reunion like no other. Announcing that they'd be reuniting and heading out on tour was just the beginning and fans began salivating for what was to come next. With all members of the band having incredible success in their solo ventures, it was a long shot that the trio would collaborate on new material, but this self titled EP is proof positive that nothing is impossible. Only six tracks long, the EP packs a major punch showcasing an entire array of new songs that sound like they could each have been plucked from one of the bands previous studio releases. Each member gets his turn as lead vocalist on the album. Chad Stokes shows off his chops on "Con Man," the most heavily reggae infused song in the set, "Melon Bend," the album's lead single and hardest rocker, and "Broken American," which showcases a bit of the bands political and activist side. Braddigan sings on "Beto" one of the highlights that draws major comparison to the "Who Are We Living For?" era. "Valentine" and "Turn This Ship Around" are Pete Francis' vocal contributions and at their core show off the songwriter style that Dispatch was known for in their earlier days. The production quality of the EP is outstanding and reminds us that indie bands can do it just as good as the big names. Although, now that Dispatch is a worldwide independent rock phenomenon, I would say that they are just as big as many of the bands that get major radio airplay. The bottom line is nothing is forever, and while it seemed like Dispatch was going to be a thing of the past about 7 years ago, it seems that is not the case. While we would all love the boys to continue to tour and make music together, this EP reminds us that whenever we need them they are there for us. Dispatch is quite possibly the best indie rock band ever, and no matter what, they will always be at the top of their game.