La Dispute
Wildlife


3.0
good

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (47 Reviews)
December 3rd, 2012 | 22 replies | 1,626 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Amidst their evolution, La Dispute lose a piece of themselves.

The first thing that becomes immediately apparent from the opening moments of ‘Wildlife’ is that La Dispute have matured considerably. Often, musical maturity brings with it improved song writing, musicianship, and in general, higher quality music. Except that is, when your biggest assets and selling points lie in your raw emotion and your frantic, unpolished delivery. The wild riffs that took centre stage and battled with the vocalist and other instruments for superiority. Your lead singer who was not only allowed, but encouraged to wail and yell way past the point of excess, and then for a little bit longer, and it somehow working against all logic. The chronicling of grand tales of misfortune and betrayal, without any reservations as to whether they may seem contrived, juvenile, or just plain cheesy. These are the things that made La Dispute, well, La Dispute, and on ‘Wildlife’, they’ve decided to evolve.

Playing to your strengths is a simple philosophy that has become clichéd thanks to its applicability to any walk of life or profession. But it’s one cliché that, all sighs aside, rings true time and time again. On ‘Wildlife’, La Dispute haven’t eradicated everything that made them unique, but they have unnecessarily shackled themselves in a bid to mature. Nothing on ‘Wildlife’ sticks out as being distinctly poor, and yet very little distinguishes itself as being of real quality either; undoubtedly the biggest problem the album suffers from. ‘Harder Harmonies’ aside, the first seven songs contain very little substance, and barely leave an impression upon their completion, with ‘a Departure’, ‘St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church Blues’, and ‘a Letter’ prime culprits. The same is true of ‘The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit’, which features a promising, understated riff that bubbles beneath the surface and comes alive at the songs chorus, only to disappointingly regress again as quickly as it announced itself.

On the majority of ‘Wildlife’, the guitars are noticeably softened and no longer do battle with vocalist Jordan Dreyer, instead seeming content to provide undertones for him to merge with in the spoken word sections and dominate in the harsh. The highlights occur when Dreyer exists independently to the music, spinning tales and driving the songs rather than following his bandmate’s lead. ‘King Park’ sees him at his undisciplined best, as he delivers the most emotive lyrics that La Dispute have ever put to record, in arguably the finest song they've ever penned. As it ebbs and flows mirroring the intensity of the story it’s depicting, so are we painted ever clearer pictures of the unfolding events. The culmination of the accidental killing of a child in a drive-by shooting is delivered in a crushing finale, where restraint is ignored in favour of brutal, colourful imagery. Following track ‘Edward Benz, 27 Times’ continues the trend, with an effectual story involving mental illness and a riff reminiscent of their debut. Coupled with ‘a Poem’ and ‘a Broken Jar’, the stronger latter half of ‘Wildlife’ effectively recalls the elements that made their previous works so engaging.

In their search for a more mature sound, La Dispute have crafted a cohesive collection of songs that undoubtedly flows more competently than their debut. Somewhere amidst their evolution however, they've managed to lose some of the creative spark that made them so endearing and relatable in the first place.



Recent reviews by this author
Rise Against The Black MarketBrontide Artery
Caspian Hymn For The Greatest GenerationJohn Frusciante Enclosure
Cloud Nothings Here and Nowhere ElseMoonlit Sailor We Come from Exploding Stars
user ratings (1380)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Joe Denby (4)
La Dispute: More cohesive, more infectious....

Jacob Kleinberg (4)
I don't think the word darling is on the whole record!...

Channing Freeman STAFF (4)
La Dispute are still screaming your name - in unison this time....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hep Kat
December 3rd 2012



14994 Comments


nope.jpg

Digging: Merchandise - After The End

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2012



847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not expecting many to agree with me here Hep Kat.


Hep Kat
December 3rd 2012



14994 Comments


score is far too low best album ever g

row a brain eat shit fucker

XingKing
December 3rd 2012



10015 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think you should elaborate a bit more on the change in sound. How they toned down instruments and whatnot so they weren't fighting with the vocals. I feel like this album is extremely vocal centric.

Good review though. I agree completely.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2012



49766 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

lol dispute

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

KSK1
December 3rd 2012



4070 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

great album

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2012



847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

XingKing, you're right man I could've elaborated on that rather than skimmed it. I'll look at adding to it.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
December 3rd 2012



9977 Comments


Nice review, man. I enjoy the album about as much as you, but I prefer this one to their debut.

I find the first half of this album pretty good, too. "St. Paul" is probably my favorite song by these guys, and I also love "Safer in the Forest" and "Edward Benz." That fucking bassline, man.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

KeithStone582
December 3rd 2012



1480 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

disagree, but your review is pretty good. have a pos.

Crymsonblaze
December 3rd 2012



7479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review is good

I like this album a fair bit better than the debut though

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2012



847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks guys.

I can see the appeal of this over the debut, which could certainly be grating at times. Juts doesn't reach that standard for me.

Funeralopolis
December 3rd 2012



10992 Comments


agreed band is bum divers.

Digging: Sweet Smoke - Just A Poke

DirEnRefused
December 3rd 2012



2133 Comments


I'd dislike this album fervently were it not so fucking catchy.

TooLateToGoBack
December 3rd 2012



1749 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is disappointing compared to Somewhere...

danielito19
December 3rd 2012



4330 Comments


I love that you touched on the uselessness of the first seven songs

Calc
December 3rd 2012



11942 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

gross album.

Digging: Kashiwa Daisuke - April. #02

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2012



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

sup just posting now to get the ridicule out of the way

i agree with this review sort of - Somewhere will always be their best, but I'm glad they're moving in a new direction

it's not actually a 5 but it's La Dispute so fuck you ill 5 what i want bitch

danielito19
December 3rd 2012



4330 Comments


I honestly think this is better than somewhere - but that might just be because I only listen to the second half when I listen to this.

also somewhere is like a 3

Hep Kat
December 3rd 2012



14994 Comments


you see my avatarc? well i am here today to inform you that this is my avatar because of the power and passion of this band la dispute. it is truly the greatest thing this female dispute and truly at peak of anfger i am becalmed like the mighty northern wind blowing on captain horatio hornblower played by gregory pecks ship, the lydia

so what do you know about the leafy bug sissy? what indeed

Hep Kat
December 3rd 2012



14994 Comments


chlamydia**



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy