Dance Gavin Dance
Downtown Battle Mountain


4.5
superb

Review

by Bitstream USER (21 Reviews)
September 23rd, 2009 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If Jonny wasn't such as ass, I'd love to see where this band would be now.

Very few albums have ever defined a long period of time in my life. Since my first beautifully convenient iPod, certain albums find themselves being replayed over and over again, regardless of how I’m familiar with every aspect of each song. Once upon a time there was albums like Showbread’s spastic No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical, Trophy Scars’ ambiguous Alphabet. Alphabets., and then there was this. Dance Gavin Dance is a post-hardcore band from sunny Sacramento, California, and like the state’s perception of being possibly ‘a little bit off’, this band puts a spin on the image of the modern post-hardcore scene.

The band reeks of tappable creativity as the first ‘real’ track comes blaring up. First thing you’ll take interest in is the powerful voice of Jonny Craig, belting over a fairly simple octave based riff and steady drums. Jon Mess comes in second, barking raspy yells over and under the crooning, and you’ll soon get used to the pattern. The singers never trade places through the album, Jon filling the aggression and Jonny fueling the passion. The guitar leads come through beautifully, complex yet understandable, supplied with a perfectly complimentary rhythm section. The drummer taps into complex and creative patterns, inventive fills, and interesting sections, luckily straying from the straight double bass and breakdowns the genre has come to earn its image from. The bassist has a concise sound, and is perfectly capable of pulling off intriguing instrumental sections, demonstrated by the guitar and bass surprises in the intro to Lemon Meringue Tie. The wonderful tag team of Sean and Will on guitar duty gives this album a more substantial feeling, as they pull off memorable verses and bridges throughout almost every song, unlike most forgettable bands in the ‘scene’.

The songs skirt the verse-chorus-verse-bridge-breakdown structure also expected within the scene. Sections of clean and inventive guitar ambience and soft, higher pitched singing provide feelings of maturity and substance (see It’s Safe to Say You Dig the Back Seat), while positively bursting choruses (see Open Your Eyes and Look North) illustrate the groups ability to explode outwards with surprising talent. Every song in the album provides creative essence, not just the standardized dropped-D chugging, power chords, and everything else every genre enthusiast has come to expect. The inventive instruments and the power behind the singing makes up for some of the albums flaws, like the occasionally sub-par yelling of Jon, and the difficulty of telling some songs or sections apart. Also, several riffs sound recycled, and it might take a deeper listen to bypass the ‘scream, sing, repeat’ stereotype.

Another notable part of the band is the lyrical duties, run by the ever pissed-off sounding Jon. It’s with difficulty, however, that you have to choose whether or not he’s gifted or just plain lazy.


Sit down, call off the cavalry
I'm stealing the jewels
In a slow motion action replay
Bar fight, I invented chivalry
Notch in my bed post
Slow motion action replay.


While several members of this band quit in the years following the debut’s release, this album continues to be an amazing example of what a good band can do in a not so good scene. The group was in constant conflict during the conception and execution of this record, but it comes off as a whole product. Jonny quit soon after, moving on to the dreadful Emarosa, while most the other members shuffled their own different ways. Dance Gavin Dance still exists today, with only two of the original members since their conception in 2005. With the raw talent this band possessed, DGD continues to go places (largely because of the recently unleashed talent of Will Swan), and this album stays proudly put in my CD player. Downtown Battle Mountain deserves a worthy rating for a worthy album.



Recent reviews by this author
Sea of Treachery At Dagger's DawnJonny Craig A Dream Is A Question You Don't Know How To Answer
Born of Osiris A Higher PlaceMargot & the Nuclear So and So's The Dust of Retreat
mc chris mc chris is deadLook Mexico This Is Animal Music
user ratings (1325)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Alexander Mee (4.5)
Possessing both remarkable immediacy and nuanced to a tee, Downtown Battle Mountain dares to bask in...

David Driver (4)
Strong, creative ideas and incredible dual vocals make Dance Gavin Dance's debut a noteworthy post-h...

Kronzo (4)
On this album, the guys really manage to perfect their sound they were developing on Whatever I Say ...

nikotine9 (4.5)
Dance Gavin Dance is a very hardcore band with an awesome cd. They have grown alot since "Whatever I...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bitstream
September 23rd 2009


296 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ironically, I also reviewed the Jonny Craig solo album.

Fapper
September 23rd 2009


649 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album.

Bitstream
September 23rd 2009


296 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

holy shit is that blastoise?

Fapper
September 23rd 2009


649 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes indeed. I want to make this album a 5 so bad.. but I hate Mess.

Bitstream
September 23rd 2009


296 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, and he pretty much lost his voice on the next album. But on that one they were turned down the yodel choruses and turned up the weedle deedles. The self titled and this are about the same rating to me. But I find this album more 'listenable'.

Fapper
September 23rd 2009


649 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Mess destroyed The Death Star Album in my opinion. The new vocalist really isn't bad but all of his parts get ruined by Mess trying to be the star of the album. Ugh. And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Mess write the lyrics? Terrible.

Bitstream
September 23rd 2009


296 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I included that in the review. Jon did. I like the lyrcis, even if they're a little non sensical.

elephantREVOLUTION
September 24th 2009


2760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review. album slays. this is one of my favorite bands.

edit: btw, i'm your first music neighbor!

Fapper
September 24th 2009


649 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No no no not on this, on The Death Star. I know Jon wrote these, which aren't that bad, but on Death Star, I think Mess wrote them. And they suck sooo bad on that record.

HenchmanOfSanta
September 24th 2009


1878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You keep saying how they stray from the metalcore formula, but as you said at the beginning, they aren't a metalcore band anyway.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Bitstream
September 24th 2009


296 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It gets tiresome to say post-hardcore over and over again. I go through and replace words with a lot of synonyms so the review is easier to read. Metalcore was the closest word to use.

HenchmanOfSanta
September 25th 2009


1878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You didn't really talk about post-hardcore much though. The stuff you described them straying from definitely is metalcore, but you should talk more about the conventions of their actual genre. If you can't find a synonym in the future, just use "the genre" or "the scene" or "similar bands."

Bitstream
September 26th 2009


296 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fix'd.

I was trying to use synonyms in the sentences, but they never fit. I just changed the sentences instead.

Groink
September 28th 2009


771 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually think Jon Mess's vocals went well with the music on this album. Will Swan is obviously a better harsh-vocalist, but I dunno, I kinda liked Mess's for some reason.

HenchmanOfSanta
September 28th 2009


1878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

He's definitely a lot better here than he is on the s/t, but he still sucks.

Andross026
October 29th 2009


49 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

swan is a terrible vocalist. jon's vocals made the band different, so did jonnys. this release was truly epic.

Bitstream
October 29th 2009


296 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Damn right it was. They might be a post-hardcore poster band, but they are truly amazing. They need a new screamer.

Grimley313
October 4th 2010


60 Comments


"If Jonny wasn't such as ass, I'd love to see where this band would be now."

Aren't you in for a treat. 'Down Battle Mountain Part 2' is set to be released early next year, with Jonny Craig on Vocals and Jon Mess screaming.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy