Review Summary: proving they are one of the best6 of 6 thought this review was well written
Screamo, post hardcore, scene, whatever you call that angry music; most either love it or hate it. The genre is monotonous and unoriginal. Few bands really stand out because their albums lack creativity, talent, or progression. A few have created great music: Underoath, Thrice, and Thursday, but they are few and far between. Somehow in 2007 a little band from Sacramento released a real gem that became a mainstay in any scenester’s musical library. Dance Gavin Dance’s Downtown Battle Mountain is an undeniable classic. Now five years later, after countless line-up changes, scandals, rumors and drug abuse Dance Gavin Dance gathered that same legendary line-up and have released Downtown Battle Mountain II. And I’ll tell you, it’s just as good.
The album combines screaming, R&B, rap, progressive, and funk to make something very original, creative, and actually good! There is no filler intros or synth interludes here either. The band packed eleven songs with intense yet catchy guitar melodies, tight instrumentation, and thought provoking lyrics.
Lead guitarist Will Swan writes both guitars, an impressive feat by anyone, and displays much originality and undeniable talent. His guitar parts seamlessly play off each other and have plenty of funk and R&B vibes. The rhythm section is tight and noticeable. Where most bands have a bass that is nearly non-existent, the bass shines on this album. And the drumming is not just tons of double bass. There is technicality and life throughout.
Vocally the album features co-front man Jon Mess and Jonny Craig as well as Will Swan. Mess’s lyrics are thought provoking and interesting, taking a few listens to fully grasp. His screaming is actually diverse and easy on the ears. He doesn’t just sound like a guy throwing up into a toilet. To contrast with Mess’s harsh shoot is the Michael Jackson- like croons of Jonny Craig. His passionate soaring voice really helps this band separate it self from other acts. He is undeniably one of the better voices in music today. Even with all this, potentially the best part of the album is the rapping by guitarist Will Swan.
The album effectively puts an end to the whole past hardcore genre. No band is going to replicate what Dance Gavin Dance has been able to accomplish. In today’s music of auto tuned over programmed music, Dance Gavin Dance has managed to make something highly unique in a stale genre. Bands like The Devil Wears Prada and A Day To Remember are a dime a dozen with mediocre musical ability. And with this being the band’s fifth release it shows they have proven longevity and creativity to keep the musical genius flowing. It’s now time for this Sacramento band to get the respect it deserves.
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