Posts Tagged ‘Dashboard Confessional’

3ebAfter having been unofficially announced within Third Eye Blind‘s bio on any number of venue websites where 3EB will be performing on tour this summer with Dashboard Confessional, it was incorrectly stated that Dopamine, 3EB’s first release in 6 years, was set for a Spring 2015 release date. That quote can be found below:

“3EB will release Dopamine, their first studio collection in six years, in Spring 2015.”

Third Eye Blind have officially announced that Dopamine will be released on June 16, 2015.

UPDATE: A new song entitled “Everything is Easy” was posted to Rdio. It seems as though it has since been removed.

UPDATE: “Everything is Easy is now on YouTube and has been released for purchase as the first single from Dopamine.

CityColourAlbumIt’s certainly been interesting watching Dallas Green’s progression since his early days as part of post-hardcore outfit Alexisonfire. After disbanding AoF to focus exclusively on his solo career under his pseudonym City and Colour, Green seems to have garnered a larger and more respecting fan base than he ever did in the post-hardcore world. In my mind, City and Colour has allowed Green to convert the American Eagle-types who are drawn to the pop sensibilities, while, thanks to his background, retaining the respect of hardcore fans who loved Alexisonfire’s scream-sing pummeling.

His latest album, 2013’s The Hurry and the Harm, shows Green incorporating even more of the full-band sound that he flirted with in previous albums. It’s a far cry from his first record as City and Colour, 2005’s Sometimes, which was much more early-Dashboard Confessional-oriented with just an acoustic guitar and Green’s pretty voice. Personally, I prefer that era a little bit more than the backing band aesthetic Green uses now, but that doesn’t mean The Hurry and the Harm is a bad record.

The title track leads off the disc in a slow-rolling manner, complete with Southern organ swells and swinging drums. This is the type of sound that makes a large portion of the disc: very open, expansive tunes, all with Green’s smooth vocals driving it along. Next is “Harder Than Stone,” which features one of the strongest and catchiest choruses on the album. A cool acoustic version of the song is included on the deluxe version of the album.omg-i-3-dallas-green-wait-whos-on-fire

“Thirst” and “The Lonely Life” are jauntier high-energy pop songs. “Of Space and Time,” “Commentators,” “Two Coins,” and “Ladies and Gentlemen” make up the bulk of the rest of the disc, and are decent enough, albeit a bit formulaic, tunes.

“Paradise” and “Take Care” harken back a bit to the Sometimes era, which I appreciate—somber acoustic lines blend in behind Green’s subdued contemplations in a similar way to the City and Colour of 2005. The Hurry and the Harm ends on a high note: the excellent “The Golden State” and solid “Death’s Song” are a good way to round out the disc before the bonus acoustic tracks come in.

Modern City and Colour is more spaced-out, more rollicking and rolling, more full-band and folk-pop oriented. If you enjoy that, you’ll like The Hurry and the Harm. Even fans of the older singer/songwriter/acoustic City and Colour can find something to like about this disc—there’s a little something for any fan of Dallas Green.

~ J.M.

As a longtime fan of Dashboard Confessional, and one who isn’t a 16-year-old girl, I’ve heard my share of ignorant comments, often followed by a prolonged groan:

“Dashboard? That’s that whiny tattooed guy, isn’t it? Ugghh.”

“That guy’s such a wimp. Let’s go cry ourselves to sleep. Ugghh.”

“That emo gasbag! Ugghh.”

What do all of these comments have in common, aside from being completely half-witted and irrelevant? They all focus on Dashboard’s frontman, Chris Carrabba. When people think of Dashboard Confessional, they picture Chris. With his doe-eyed good looks and fancy tattoo sleeves, Carrabba tends to steal the show—and there’s no question that Dashboard Confessional would be nothing without him. I would submit, however, that Chris’s teen-heart-melting presence tends to overshadow the people behind him—people who definitely deserve some limelight, especially Dashboard’s drummer, Mike Marsh.

Say what you want about Dashboard’s “emo” (whatever that means) roots and Chris Carrabba’s shrill ruminations on relationships. But please, never—NEVER, dear OBR readers—question the skill or professionalism of one of my favorite drummers, Mike Marsh. I would contend he remains one of the most underrated and underappreciated drummers in all of rock music. As a drummer myself, I think I have at least a little prerequisite to tell you how good he is. I apologize in advance if I start “nerding out” about drum stuff that no one understands.

Mike Marsh 1

Talented, professional, good loo–I mean, nice guy.

Let us begin with one of the first Dashboard songs I ever heard, “As Lovers Go.” It begins with the drum part, unaccompanied at first by guitars or vocals. As a young, naïve drummer, I was blown away: a jazz-style pattern in this music? More than a simple straight eighth-note beat on the ride cymbal? Don’t even get me started on the ghost notes on the snare or the hi-hat work in the pre-choruses. This stuff was revolutionary to 14-year-old me, and it remains just as impressive now as it was back then.

Go back even further, to the first Dashboard album I ever owned—2001’s The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most. Songs like “Saints and Sailors” and “Again I Go Unnoticed” wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the solid drum tracks bolstering them. In fact, the latter track has a purely acoustic rendering on The Swiss Army Romance album, and it falls miles short of Places’s version, if you ask me. Marsh’s quick drumming in the song drives the track along with energy and muscle.

In later Dashboard albums—2006’s Dusk and Summer and onward—Marsh has developed a wonderful minimalist style, letting his simple but solid beats and consistently high-quality drum sounds speak for themselves. Take mega-hit “Stolen” as an example; yeah, yeah, it’s a radio pop song, essentially, but I don’t care. Listen to that drum track! The way Marsh rations the bass drum during the verses, and only introduces the hi-hat afterwards, shows an incredible patience and musicality.

The minimalism continues: Dashboard’s most recent album, Alter the Ending, features Marsh’s tasteful percussion throughout. “Everybody Learns from Disaster” demonstrates Marsh maintaining a simple four-on-the-floor beat with the bass drum while playing some nice hi-hat parts over top of it. If you’re a real geek, check out the snare roll that takes Marsh out of the first chorus into the next verse. The beautiful little maneuver happens at the one-minute mark in the song. Perfection!

Alright, I’ll stop. There are plenty more examples—I could go on and on. If you don’t feel like listening to these songs, all one really needs to do is check out Dashboard’s performance of “Hands Down” on Letterman to see the power and energy Marsh contributes to the band. Ignore Chris’s silly haircut. Why, look, a convenient link!

Don’t dismiss Dashboard’s other members, either—I bet you didn’t know that talented bassist Scott Schoenbeck was a longtime member of legendary 90’s emo group The Promise Ring. Dashboard guitarist John Lefler is irreplaceable, and has a burgeoning solo career to showcase his musical prowess. And of course, our friend Chris deserves plenty of credit for his own guitar and songwriting skills. The point? Keep those silly comments to yourselves, Dashboard hecklers, and give some credit where credit is due! Especially to the talented and underappreciated Mike Marsh.

~ J.M.