Favorite Fossils takes a look at our favorite albums from formative years. Albums that we once obsessed over, which may be the source of endless embarrassment. Or maybe there’s some validity as to why we loved them so.
I recently exchanged music with a good friend whose music tastes diverge notably from my own. I figured that I would guide her to the light that is Ingrid Michaelson and Johnny Flynn. Maybe she would mistakenly stumble upon some gem that I could add to my own collection. Instead, I got a blast from my elementary school past.
A brief explanation: I am one of those people; the annoying one whose phone goes off in class and invariably has a super obnoxious ringtone that loudly plays a song. For a year, my ring tone was “The General,” by Dispatch (previously known as One Fell Swoop). I had gotten a few comments on it, but when the time came and I got a new phone, I moved on.
Imagine my shock, then, when my friend told me that she had been to this really great concert, oh right, and she thinks that the band played “The General.” Now, Dispatch played their last hurrah in 2004 (I’m still bummed that, at 14, I was deemed too young to travel from New York to Boston with my brother to see it). I insisted that she had to be wrong: it had to have been a cover band. Then she told me about State Radio, the latest reincarnation of Dispatch fronted by Chad Urmston. I was so disconnected from my ‘favorite band’ from the 6th grade that I didn’t even know a thing about State Radio.
Intrigued, I sat down and listened to my favorite Dispatch album, Bang Bang, again. As the first song, “Here We Go,” started up, I thought, “yep, here we go indeed.” And you know what? I respect the 6th grade incarnation of me more than I ever did before. This album is good. “Bats in the Belfry” pretty much sums up my state of mind at any given moment; “Bang Bang” makes me want to sit on a beach and just enjoy life; “Two Coins’” beauty brings me to tears.
Knowing every word of “The General” may not be as impressive as I once thought. Still, this is the kind of music that I can proudly say I listen to. And, rest assured, the next time I’m talking up some bands, I’ll include State Radio.