Dance Gavin Dance
Dance Gavin Dance


3.5
great

Review

by kevin234 USER (20 Reviews)
December 16th, 2010 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: showcases definite talent, but is a little inconsistent

Even with impairing member losses, Dance Gavin Dance somehow continued with its second full-length album that features all members creating a surprising collection of songs. They defiantly created the most diverse post-hard core album of the year, having elements of funk, R&B, pop, alternative, and more. It’s evident that the addition of Zachary Garren helped the changes musically. Simply check out his current project Good Health that features a sprawling medley of genres and its evident that creativity stemmed from this album. For those interested in hearing the progression of a talented guitar player it starts with Zach on this album. Zach brings smooth telecaster rhythms that allow for a lash of shredding by Will Swan. Fans of Dance Gavin Dance were well aware of Will’s guitar play prior to this record. Astoundingly, his tight hammer on play has only improved making a convincing argument for him being the best guitarists in the scene.

But this fantastic duo of guitar work comes with its share of inconsistent quality. Despite transcending multiple genres while keeping the post- hardcore roots, the album has a handful of forgettable tracks that show it was rushed. The song “Caviar” starts of as a slow break in the album but after a few measures Will’s lead guitar obnoxiously travels everywhere on the fret board. The song “Buffalo clocks in as the shortest on the album and offers no transition from the impressive first track to the band’s single: “Me and Zoloft Get Along Just Fine”. It’s uninteresting and downright forgettable. The laziest effort has to be “Burning Down the Nicotine Armoire pt. 2 which is the same song instrumentally as “Your Last Lullaby” from Will Swan and Matt Mingus’s former band Farewell Unknown.

With such a major lead vocal change it’s hard to imagine a band not compensating for losses in talent, but with only their second full album the band shines again vocally. Front man Kurt Travis kills on this record. Bringing fluctuating and expansive clean melodies, he provides a perfect contrast to Jon Mess’s angry shout. His best song on the album is Hot Water on Wool, which threads and weaves through multiple rock elements to make the most epic song on the record sound almost progressive. Kurt travels from a cool and calm introduction to a singing at the top of his lungs at the finish. He can even bring an R&B style on the song “Uneasy Hearts Weigh the Most” accompanied by Nic Newsham of Gatsby’s American Dream (if you like the novel check out the band). This song features so many elements of R&B that the band simply referred to it as “The R&B Song” during preproduction. Shift of genre also takes place on the pop- influenced “Skyhook” and appears multiple times throughout the album, making Kurt’s vocal range even more impressive. Kurt’s vocal diversity is sure to leave listeners awed by such an unknown vocalist. With this, one listen through is all it takes to become attached to Kurt’s sexually appealing pipes.

But despite such a stellar effort by their new front man, the band significantly pushed their other front man: Jon Mess. While Mess’s lyrics are interesting and at times creative, they dabble in being unnecessary, unproductive, and even impossible to decode. Some songs are really ruined on the record by Jon’s scattered f-bombs, which leave us wondering if he has anything else in his vocabulary. This does not mean that his emotion should be discounted. There are simply more creative ways for Mess to drive home what he’s trying to say. Despite this, his lyrics improved dramatically from an almost scrambled jargon about whores and dinosaurs to know hating his day job. Mess had shown to be an interesting up and down writer on the past effort but fills up big holes that were evident on past efforts. He delves deep into personal problems like depression, referring to the mood disorder in offhand manners that take a few listens to grasp. He has outrages against the music industry on the track “Buffalo” and “The Robot With Human Hair pt.3” contrasting music to a 9-5 day job. Overwhelmingly his best work appears throughout the album with constant backlashes at society. The lacking morals in our culture take a definite theme in Mess’s galactic poetry with “People You Know” being his most profound work. This track caps of the album brilliant and convincingly, encompassing the whole bands angst to genre defining and lyrically accepting music.

The album cleverly dabbles in areas of brilliance but also makes crippling mistakes that display the band's youth. The Death Star album remains an underachieved second LP effort by a band with talent to make masterpieces. Shifting members has undoubtedly been the bands crippling weakness. This album had very talented group of members that could have lead to something great, but it seems like Dance Gavin Dance starts over with every album they make. These creative changes make argument for the band being so good. On Down Town Battle Mountain the band captured one sound perfectly and dazzled listeners. But on the Death Star the band proves good at many things but not amazing at anything specific. With that being said, this album as well as any of the member’s work remains an integral piece of any post-hardcore library.



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Dance Gavin Dance loses a singer, and gains so much more in the process. This is really a step up f...


Comments:Add a Comment 
sniper
December 16th 2010


19079 Comments


Use better grammar. It's infuriating.

pmmets07
December 16th 2010


5936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not a terrible review, just a little messy gramatically.

and i love the album, i think jon mess is the best part of it though

TAB
December 16th 2010


467 Comments


'If your looking for an album feature Johnny Craig...'

PinkBlackberry
December 16th 2010


2346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

first paragraph dedicated to Johnny Craig.

not needed.

Crymsonblaze
December 16th 2010


7536 Comments


I want to like this band but I couldn't get into this or Downtown Battle Mountain. Something about the screams really annoy me. The clean singing is great though.

WatchItExplode
December 16th 2010


3316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

band is great...Mess is on a rampage on this, pretty much a non-stop stream of expletives...

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
December 16th 2010


9067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You listed every track I like on here as boring or disappointing

HenchmanOfSanta
December 16th 2010


1928 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Jon Mess poops all over this album. Everything he utters is embarrassing.


I want to like this band but I couldn't get into this or Downtown Battle Mountain. Something about the screams really annoy me. The clean singing is great though.
Try Happiness. Will Swan does the screams on that one.

anocturnalday
December 17th 2010


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This review would be good...if it came out, oh say two years ago? Honestly the way you write made it sound like all line up changes happened recently. Also the fact that it's something almost everyone knows.

A few grammar mistakes but other that it's fine review.

DeathByDaydream
December 17th 2010


546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"The band moved on without Craig and fans should to."

First, it should be "too".
Second, this review was written recently, AFTER it was announced that Johnny Craig is actually rejoining Dance Gavin Dance. If you're going to devote a whole paragraph to talking about the band members, you need to seem knowledgeable.

I didn't feel like there was enough explanation as to why you thought said tracks were lackluster, but that's probably just because I disagree with you, so no big deal.

UnderDaIce
December 17th 2010


203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Needs less Jonny worship. Easily their worst album, Happiness was the best imo

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
December 17th 2010


9067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^ Agree that this is their worst but Downtown Battle Mountain is the best for sure

exitsense
December 17th 2010


402 Comments


people you know is by far the best dgd track

Digging: Faithful - The Love From Which Catharsis Sprung

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
December 17th 2010


9067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Except for every other song in their catalog

Kronzo
December 17th 2010


994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually like this album the most. Pretty good review but I disagree with some of your opinions on the songs. I really like Burning Down

HenchmanOfSanta
December 17th 2010


1928 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

people you know is by far the best dgd track
This is so wrong it caused me physical pain.

WatchItExplode
December 17th 2010


3316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I do love that trippy outro thing on People You Know though

kevin234
December 17th 2010


238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

there is too much comparison of kurt and johnny. i wanted to immediately state that this review was not going to compare the two singers. anyone who is a dgd fan knows that kurt is out and johnny is back in. but the review is about this album so that is why I thought the first paragraph was necessary.

tkxxx7
December 24th 2010


6159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The outro to People You Know is actually some song that Kurt wrote before joining DGD and, instead of recording it, they did... that.



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