Review Summary: Have you ever been a dumped sixteen year-old kid? Did you make an album? Well you aren't La Dispute!
While I'm on a little screamo kick I might as well take a look at one of the most popular underground bands in the genre right now. Although they have a bunch of EPs that change up the sound a lot, actually sort of sounding like beatnik poetry most of the time, this is their debut album and the one that sounds the most like screamo and post-hardcore. That's not to say its bad though, the music is all well done and has some interesting lead guitar moments and some really cool rhythms. The drumming is really good for an album of it's kind and the vocals are pretty well done. Well...mostly. There are a few parts where lead singer Jordan's yell turns a bit sour, kind of like he's gurgling curdled milk. But other than that the vocals are pretty good, especially the spoken parts.
But there's one big area where this album falters and that's in the lyrics and melodramatic moments. I mean how old was the band when they wrote this? Twelve? Maybe thirteen if they're late bloomers. I admit that they ocassionally have a good metaphor going like in Said the King to the River, the singer being the king and the girl in question being the river. It's a cool metaphor and a lot of songs do this to spice things up, but sometimes it just doesn't work. You can only sing your heart out about a girl so many times before it becomes a bit of a bore to listen to. The melodramatic moments are just way too much for the listener to handle as he or she is constantly barraged over and over throughout the album.
And it doesn't help matters that this album is unbearably long. I understand the epic closer being long (although its STILL a few minutes too long) but there's no reason for some of the others. A lot of the songs just kind of wander around and are too worried about getting to that next melodramatic moment to worry about the songwriting. If this had been tightened up by about 10 or 15 minutes it would probably be a 3 or 3.5 but as it it, it's definitely not a great album. My advice is listen to the first two tracks and then pick a couple good ones off their second album and make your own EP.