Review Summary: Dance Gavin Dance trade in their old macbook for a nice PC, but unfortunately they use it to commit the audio equivalent of deleting system 32.
Modern post-hardcore bands place way too much emphasis on vocals, and a lot of fans seem to be perfectly content with this. Whenever I peruse the comments section on Sputnik, or Youtube, or Facebook for a band like Dance Gavin Dance, almost every single comment is along the lines of: "Johnny Craig this," or "Kurt that," or "Tillian blah blah blah," and it all confuses me because I've always listened to Dance Gavin Dance for the endearing guitar parts. Downtown Battle Mountain
and the self titled album had so many incredible guitar section that were complimented by great vocals. Since the vocals weren't the main focus 100% of the time, they were allowed to adequately flourish over equally impressive instrumentation. This is no longer the case with Dance Gavin Dance's 5th studio album Acceptance Speech,
where the guitar is blander than ever, and freshman vocalist Tillian Pearson is forced to carry the load himself with mixed results.
Tillian brings some nice vocal melodies to the table, but his thin and very high voice is not suited for complete domination in the mix. He's kind of like a quarterback who's lost his weapons. He has no receivers to throw to, as the guitar is uninspired and bland, and he can hardly hand it off with confidence to his formally trusty running back Jon Mess who seems to have phoned it in as well, replacing his clever lyrics and unique vocal style with a performance that sounds like it could be on any other average post-hardcore record. All football metaphors aside, Acceptance Speech
comes with a set of good moments (mostly from the first three tracks and last three tracks) offset by truly cringeworthy moments like the bro chant of "Make this motherfuckerer golden" from Death of The Robot With Human Hair, and the out of nowhere and thankfully brief rap at the end of the title track. Put all this together with the remaining tracks which range from being forgettably average, to almost but not quite good, and you get Acceptance Speech,
and album that is equal parts uninspired, pedestrian, and worst of all, majorly disappointing.