Juniper Road


Pavement Entertainment, 2017

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Everyone remembers Dishwalla, right? You know, 1996’s “Counting Blue Cars” – that song with the chorus “Tell me all your thoughts on God / ‘Cause I’d really like to meet her.” You’d undoubtedly remember the song the moment you heard it. And now, the band is back with their first record in 12 years. The original lineup has returned with one main exception: vocalist J.R. Richards is no longer their frontman and has been replaced by a new guy. Despite that, the band has come out a batch of new songs that try to win over their old fanbase while attempting to attract some new ones as well.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Album opener “Sirens” is a bit different for those who remember a lighter band. The new singer isn’t crap, but he doesn’t have the smooth range of Mr. Richards. This isn’t a terrible song, though. “Mazelike Gardens” is just okay but it never really feels like it goes anywhere notable; it just kind of sits there, waiting to go forward. “Miles Away” is a decent enough track with some good guitar work and some actually decent vocals. “Don’t Fade Away” is AOR rock from the ‘90s, which unfortunately doesn’t sound too fresh or exciting in the 21st century. I just don’t feel like Justin Fox’s vocals really carry the band all the way like they could.

The rest of the record doesn’t really have much to grab the listener. There isn’t enough to really make us feel like this is the band we remember from the ‘90s, except maybe for the musicianship. “Not Alone” is about the only song here that sounds like it has a decent chance as it’s one of the best in terms of instrumentation here. Everything else just kind of falls flat and never really harkens the band back to their heyday. Maybe they’d be better sticking to the oldies circuit like so many other groups out there.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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