Would you believe me if I told you that a one hit wonder from the 90s was rapidly becoming one of my favorite bands of 2015? Would you believe it if I said this was true for two different bands?
I wasn’t sure I believed it either. These two bands are Toad the Wet Sprocket and Dispatch. It is important to note that neither band is truly a one hit wonder. Likewise, neither band really had to work that hard.
Toad the Wet Sprocket hit it big in 1992 with “Walk on The Ocean”:
Dispatch is perhaps most known for 1998’s “The General”:
Both bands have taken breaks in recent history.
Toad the Wet Sprocket broke up in 1998, and in the decade that followed only played a few sets together while each member focused on their own projects. When they officially reunited in 2009, Toad the Wet Sprocket hadn’t released a studio album in 12 years. In 2013 the band released its first new studio album ending a 16-year drought.
Dispatch decided to break up in 2004, playing a farewell show that to this day is recognized as one of the largest indie shows ever. During their time apart the band reunited, playing occasional benefit shows before returning full time in 2011.
For many years, Dispatch has had a strong tie to social issues, and with their return to touring the band launched “Amplifying Education” — which donates part of the proceeds from each ticket sold to local school systems. In 2012 Dispatch released their first studio album since 2000 called “Circles Around the Sun”.
Fast forward to 2015, Toad the Wet Sprocket is on tour with Smashmouth and Tonic, and Dispatch just played two sold out shows at Madison Square Garden titled Dispatch: Hunger.
Its time for the big reveal; why are these bands my favorites of 2015 so far?
I read an article a while back that said this may be the first summer in a long time without a theme song. I beg to differ.
I submit for your consideration:
Toad The Wet Sprocket – “Architect of the Ruin”:
Dispatch – “Bound by Love”:
“Architect of the Ruin” is a song about a story, how every story has two sides, and how easy it is to only see one side . Architect of the Ruin however comes from the other side of this narrow sited approach, which gives the song a unique vantage point. It’s not about being right or wrong, it is about being sorry for acting the way any of us would.
“Bound by Love” is light and airy with a strong Caribbean influence. The song takes a page from Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, and like the songwriters of yore “Bound by Love” deals with the complex topic of poverty and hunger both here in the United States but abroad as well, while maintaining its light and hopeful feel.
Both could be the theme for this summer for their own reasons. Individually, I think it is their similarities that make them worthy contestants. Both songs are about being bigger than ourselves, whether it be in the sense of being the bigger person, or our responsibility to the greater good. Both songs ask us to be better.
This summer I am embracing this concept and these songs as representation of being better and trying to better myself and to make society a better place, if you agree you should join me in doing the same.
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