La Dispute
Here, Hear. III


4.0
excellent

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
January 12th, 2010 | 81 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: La Dispute finally display what we knew they had all along - limitless potential.

I have a weird relationship with La Dispute's wordy debut album Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair. On the surface, they do everything right. A verbose vocalist who delivers his well-thought out poetry with passion? Check. Interesting music? Check. Good songwriting? Check. However, after the sixth or seventh track, I lose all interest in the album. If you were to look at my Itunes library, you would see that the play-count for each song gets progressively lower as the album goes on. So while La Dispute have all the elements that I love, there is just something missing.

And now I'm thinking that maybe - just maybe - that something was heartbreak.

Not in the music, no. There's plenty of that there. It was missing in me. Because goddamn, a lot of the lyrics on Somewhere... are just so ridiculous ("She is mine! You stole her - tricked her somehow - but we'll survive!") that you simply can't take them seriously until you get your heart stomped on by a lady. All of a sudden, the cries of "TONIGHT WE ROOIIDEE" become a lot less funny. Still, the album does lose steam after the first half, and I've been forced to the conclusion that La Dispute simply aren't good enough yet for me to pay attention to them for more than a half hour. That's why Here, Hear III, the latest in a series of EPs, hits such a sweet spot. At thirteen minutes, the EP makes La Dispute a lot easier to swallow.

Unlike their aggressive full-length album, Here, Hear III is much more subdued, focusing more on Jordan Dreyer's words than the music. Interestingly, when the music serves only to complement his lyrics, the musicians truly shine. On Somewhere... it seemed like Dreyer and the band were constantly battling to gain control of the album, and while the musicians arguably should have won, Dreyer came out on top simply by being more ridiculous. Here, Hear III is a much better representation of what La Dispute are capable of doing, and if their next record mixes the aggression of their first album with this EP's soft-spoken style, La Dispute will be a force to be reckoned with. For now, listen to the church-like keyboard of "nine" as it mixes with the sound of the wind blowing, creating perhaps the best backdrop for a lyricist like Dreyer in a long time. Anyone can clash music and voice like La Dispute did on Somewhere..., but it takes true skill to create a piece of music that unites every single component in perfect harmony.

The acoustic guitar pattern in "ten" is the Midwest personified, rolling over itself like a green pasture while the electric guitar provides occasional glances at the endless blue sky. And just like the unhappiness and discontent broiling right underneath the surface of every Midwestern home, the song drops off a cliff as Dreyer steps back from the mic and screams, only to return with a repeated line of "It doesn't bother me at all," as all people in denial of their inward darkness will proclaim. "eleven" is the closest La Dispute gets to Somewhere..., a distorted guitar shooting out groovy licks while Dreyer rides high on top of everything, singing of fear and uncertainty.

"twelve" is the highlight. It is La Dispute as they should be - music and voice working together to create a frankly gorgeous track. As Dreyer sings, "Walked in to find you sitting in your kitchen, softly singing, 'Someone carry me away'," the guitar does just that, creating a gentle lake for Dreyer's voice to float on. And while it may have been nice to have the song explode at some point into aggression, "twelve" instead goes the way of all things in life - beautiful, humbling, and all too fleeting.



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user ratings (332)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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La Dispute have matured a lot....

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There's room to sing along, so sing along....


Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what the fuck's up

SeaAnemone
January 12th 2010


20321 Comments


Are you reviewing all 3?

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell no i haven't heard the other two

SeaAnemone
January 12th 2010


20321 Comments


Listen to Here, Hear II... I thought it was the best of the 3

tombits
January 12th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I PROMISED COLLIN I'D KEEP WRITING

also, nice to see another chan review. i might shit out a quick review for one of the other here, hear's later on if you don't want to.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

more like

i promised colin i'd keep writing

tombits
January 12th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

that bit always makes me laugh for some reason.

but yeah i love "nine" and "twelve" the most.

cirq
January 12th 2010


9264 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good job on the review lil guy

TRMshadow
January 12th 2010


4982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review and Great Music, but coming from staff, that's not much of a surprise. Still, good job.

Waior
January 12th 2010


11451 Comments


good review, cheer up

saw this on whatever blog a week or so ago and thought "maybe"



mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

just realized half of you are contributors on apes with guns now

man that blog has gone to hell

SeaAnemone
January 13th 2010


20321 Comments


yeah pretty much. I liked it much better when I wasn't there.


Seriously though, I did.

joshuatree
Emeritus
January 13th 2010


3742 Comments


man that blog has gone to hell


where was it before if not hell

tombits
January 13th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, there's probably a few too many contributers there now. Not to say I'm not part of the problem, I went on there along with everyone else during the huge influx when SE was letting people sign up, haha.

Skimaskcheck
January 13th 2010


2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oooo i was thinking about doing this, i love this one, it's my favourite of the three.

ninenineninenineninenine!

Really good review of course.

Ghostechoes
January 13th 2010


1353 Comments


Serious music listeners use Foobar2000, not iTunes.

natey
January 13th 2010


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wow was expecting a 2 rating, pleased. "Twelve" is the tits

IRAI
January 13th 2010


1567 Comments


i saw these guys at dirtfest 2 summers ago, and didnt know who they were, and thought they were pretty sweet, but just a solid local band here in MI.


But on here its like, "FUCKIN' LA DISPUTE, MAN!!!"
s'pretty cool.

SlightlyEpic
January 13th 2010


5780 Comments


hell is pretty great idk about you guys

Prophet178
January 13th 2010


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah pretty much. I liked it much better when I wasn't there.


Seriously though, I did.


Yeah I took it off my RSS after you joined.



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