The Show: Wednesday, December 14, 2005
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Led by charismatic frontman Dustin Rall, JustCause harks to the days when pop-rock ruled the charts.
PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Show

By Anthony Mariani

This much can be said for pop rock: It’s easy to parody but extremely difficult to produce without sounding parodic. No matter what’s said or implied to the contrary, there’s some skill in making formulaic music sound, well, original. Once this epiphany hits, tracks like “Mr. Jones,” “Name,” “Somebody to Shove,” and other overplayed charts from the mid to late ’90s — when pop-rock had yet to be superseded for good in Top-40-land by hip-hop — all begin to assume an odd sort of gravitas. You then realize why these tunes were so overplayed in the first place.

You may also realize how super the music of local rockers JustCause is. Do they reinvent the wheel? Hardly, but does any artist? Is their music poppy and accessible? Asbolutely, but since when did “catchy” and “melodious” become pejoratives?

Led by frontman and singer-songwriter Dustin Rall, JustCause has gone through a number of line-up permutations, which undoubtedly would have stymied other, lesser bands but hasn’t really hurt JC. The pop-rockers may even be getting better as time marches on: They’ve appeared on a special segment on The Rick Dees Weekly Top-40 Countdown, they’ve received airplay on the Evil Empire (a.k.a. The Edge), and cuts from Under the Influence, the band’s year-old full-length debut, can be heard on XM Radio’s Channel 52, a station that features only unsigned bands. There aren’t many rockers in North Texas — especially one so often overlooked — who can claim similar achievements.

The music is what matters, and JustCause’s is superlative — polished, poppy, dramatic, everything that great pop-rock should be. Why these guys aren’t being given the chance to blow Rob Thomas and his ilk off stages everywhere is another one of the music industry’s great tragedies.

Sat with Wolvaire, Sweet Lee Morrow, and Bled For Days at the Aardvark, 2905 W Berry St, FW. 817-926-7814.


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