La Dispute
Somewhere at the Bottom of the River...


4.5
superb

Review

by Nevin USER (56 Reviews)
March 3rd, 2010 | 18 replies | 4,712 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: La Dispute brings an interesting offer to the hardcore genre.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

It's a rare occurrence when I listen to an album obsessively for months and it still holds that initial magic for months afterward. It is also interesting that this should happen with an album spawning from a genre I've never been entirely fond of. They call it "Hardcore", and I've had a small relationship with it. I've always seen it as just noise, admiring very few bands that represent it. The screaming over the sometimes suffocating guitar riffs and pounding drums always gave me a headache, but somehow this little-known band from Michigan flipped that formula on it's head for me.

La Dispute's first full length album "Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair", had a shaky first impression with me. Lead vocalist Jordan Dreyer's whiny singing was a turn off for my ear drums and I felt like it took away from the very solid lyrics. My dislike for his style soon faded after only a few listens of the opening track "Such Small Hands", which is where the storyline for this record begins, and it is a great story indeed.

Throughout the album we're taken through a rollercoaster of emotions such as anger, depression, desperation and eventually emotional triumph which all loop around a story of a swiftly failing marriage -- Each of these emotions being perfectly portrayed by Dreyer's shrieking vocals. The third track of the album, "New Storms For Older Lovers", displays such vivid anger that you can truly feel the narrator's troubles seeping through your speakers. This was one of the initial appeals of the record; how emotionally driven every song is.

"I have half a mind to make you hurt/To make you bleed, to make you suffer/I swear if you touched her/Oh, heaven forgive what I would do to you"

The true beauty of the album is how the narrator's struggles are shown through sometimes brilliant metaphors and clever lyrics. It's obvious that an immense amount of thought went into each track, which I believe separates it from its genre predecessors. This gives the album a wide appeal -- Even if you're not interested in the style of music, you can still appreciate the great lyrics. "Bury Your Flame", brings both catchy guitar rhythms and impressive metaphors, being a prime example of the album's intelligence.

"We held a match to keep our sight on the path/But the flame gave up and we lost it/And I've knelt for the last three years/Trying to find it back with the blackened matchstick"

Another impressive feature of the band is how it can seamlessly switch between flowing guitar into intense riffs and vice versa. This being perfectly displayed in "The Castle Builders" and "Damaged Goods". It's simple things like that which sets this album apart from others in the genre, they refuse to stick to formulaic Hardcore themes. When things begin to feel stale it's switched up in the next song, making no two songs sound alike; which is something to admire.

Perhaps the most intense song on the record, "The Last Lost Continent", plays for just over twelve minutes and is the essential song to tie everything together. It encompasses every bit of anger shown elsewhere on the record perfectly. Dreyer's vocals really shine here; every line dripping with emotion. And of course it doesn't abandon the sharp lyrics that have been consistent throughout the record -- I'd even go as far as to say that it has some of the best on the album, bringing an inspirational touch as we see the narrator's acceptance and eventual overcoming of the situation.

"Oh, how selfish of myself/To always say that it was more than I could take/Like it was pain I couldn't shake/Like it could break me with its fingers"

La Dispute brings an interesting offer to the Hardcore genre. Not only do they have consistently great lyrics, impressive musicians and a great, emotional vocalist, but they don't get old. Between Vega and Altair has been ear candy for me for months and I don't see it getting old any time soon. Something appeals to me in the band's skill and I honestly hope they make a name for themselves. They definitely have the talent.



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user ratings (1817)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Guzzo CONTRIBUTOR (5)
    Our hearts still beat the same....

    Charlie (4.5)
    This sixty-minute long sucker punch is unlike anything you've ever heard. And it's absolut...

    sweatandtrees (4.5)
    Overall, I still believe that this is La Dispute's best album both musically and lyrically...

    YoWassupBros (1.5)
    A sad foray into what a human male is when all of his testosterone is sapped from his body...

  • crandynewman (1.5)
    Have you ever been a dumped sixteen year-old kid? Did you make an album? Well you aren't...

    someguest (5)
    ...

    Connor Welsh (5)
    ...And our hearts still beat the same....

    Eric (3.5)
    I fear my relationship with Somewhere At the Bottom... is heading towards the same end as ...

  • Wayne H. (5)
    There’s no dispute. These guys are simply incredibly talented and put tremendous focus i...

    Squib (3.5)
    ...

    SnackaryBinx (4.5)
    The river's not flooded this time....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Prophet178
March 3rd 2010



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ugh are you fucking kidding me? 3 reviews at one time?

Slum
March 3rd 2010



2579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I kid you not. I'm just copying over my reviews from my blogspot. They're all copied now.

Prophet178
March 3rd 2010



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wasn't a compliment, you're bumping other reviews off the front page. Generally we abide by 1 review per day or when your last review gets bumped off the front, whichever comes first.

Slum
March 3rd 2010



2579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

My bad, didn't know that's how it worked. I just joined the other day. I'll abide by the "rules" from now on

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2010



17195 Comments


yesterday was a slow day so most of the reviews he bumped had their time so it's no biggy. it's not
really a rule but a common courtesy.

burnafterbreeding
March 3rd 2010



1466 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Annoying rip off album

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2010



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Oh, how selfish of myself/To always say that it was more than I could take/Like it was pain I couldn't shake/Like it could break me with its fingers"

this is the section that made me fall in love with this album

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2010



17195 Comments


wtf chan, didnt your rating used to be a lot lower?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2010



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah but then i got DUMPED

botb
March 3rd 2010



9521 Comments


"Annoying rip off album"
if you think this album rips off someone it must be mewithoutyou and plain and simple, this is different idk.

cirq
March 3rd 2010



9263 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fersher dude

Comatorium.
March 3rd 2010



4081 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Annoying rip off album


youre an idiot...

mmfarva
March 3rd 2010



1352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really like the album and the band, although I haven't listened to them much lately. The fact that they're a local band for me is awesome.

himynameisjustin
March 4th 2010



40 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I still remember the feeling i got when first hearing Such Small Hands.

burnafterbreeding
March 5th 2010



1466 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5


if you think this album rips off someone it must be mewithoutyou and plain and simple, this is different idk.


vocals - mewithoutYou, but a VERRRRRY failed version thereof.
music - The Fall of Troy/Every other post-hardcore band in existence.

Comatorium.
March 5th 2010



4081 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

yeah, complete idiot.

PirateSquid
May 3rd 2010



1881 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah but then i got DUMPED


Dude.

I totally get you, like, being dumped totally makes you get the album.

AtavanHalen
May 3rd 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD



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