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Now Hear This: Dispatch - The League of One

Rating: ****1/2

You guys (and gals) know how much I love a good hard rock album and how much I love a good hard rock band. So needless to say I was pretty excited to receive the latest effort from Canadian trio The League of One.

From what I understand they're highly influenced by Rush, Zeppelin, and Sabbath and by God that is right up my effin' alley.

The album is called "Dispatch" and I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't dying to tear into it.

Let's listen to this until our ears bleed alright?

Watch the music video for "Antz" on Youtube here:

We start with "Wax Museum" and it's actually got some radio appeal. It's a screetcher with some pop sensibilities thrown in there. It doesn't sound a lick like any of the other bands they are supposedly influenced by but that's quite alright. I dug it. Solid opener. "Plastic Crackhead" is next and it's got a little Sabbath to it. It actually kinda reminds me of early Soundgarden. A drudgier sound on this one for sure. "I Get Around" is another grungy-yet-melodic track, with lyrical content that's got a tongue planted firmly in-cheek. Great lead guitar work on this one. Another good rock and roller. "Antz" appears to be the first single and it's a shredder. This one has a real System of a Down vibe. Good choice for the initial single. "Kool-Aid and Bug Burgers" is a slower burn for sure. It's interesting but I'm not sure how entertaining it is. I'll give it points for innovation though. "The Connoisseur" reminded me initially of two things, No Doubt's "Don't Speak" and how difficult it is the spell "Connoisseur". Thank God for spellcheck. This one is a ballad that never really reached me. Kind of a bummer really. I like a good ballad. Track seven is "Bic Blister" and it reads like an ode to a smoker. I was one of those for many years so I can relate. I dig the intro guitar riff so that's a big plus. It's kinda bluesy and that's cool. It just seems like we've reached a lull in the record though. "Six" is track eight which is confusing in itself, but here we are. This is a gorgeous instrumental ballad that puts us firmly back on track. Let's see how these last two tunes shake out. "Dionysus" awesome power chord intro leads us to a truly Zeppelin-esque verse. I really like this one. One of the highlights of the second half of the album. "Working Man's Band" is the finale and it's a straight-ahead rocker, much like the title would allude to. Solid ending to a solid record.

This one isn't without its highlights and lowlights but all-in-all I really liked it. I think fans of classic rock are gonna dig it too. It ain't perfect, but neither is rock and roll baby. Just give it a listen. There's more great than not, and not a single track is truly awful so that's something.

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