Review Summary: The white-trash Circa Survive returns with a shit-tier classic for the ages.
Admittedly, my knowledge of Dance Gavin Dance is fairly limited. Yes I’ve heard the Downtown Battle Mountain
duo but aside from that my knowledge stops at Johnny Craig’s laptop debacle. And after getting into the thick of it, that’s pretty much as interesting as Dance Gavin Dance get. But that’s okay! DGD have always had a quirky identity, always having a trashy tongue in cheek delivery that has worked for them. Add in Craig’s powerful and unique vocals and you’ve got a passable and fun band. With their latest outing, however, the band side-steps every little issue that has plagued them before, only to plunge head first abysmal obscurity.
plays like every scene album ever, albeit with an un-ironic gusto that is almost admirable. This cannot be pinned on one particular cause, as the album is truly a sum of its part. It’s banal and derivative, sure, but literally every facet of the record is steeped in an abhorrent combination of tacky post-hardcore and half-assed experimental rock. Each song plays out the same way, with new vocalist Tillian Pearson singing until John Mess comes in screaming. It’s as simple as that. One could almost predict when the shifts come, which is about as exciting as it sounds. The loopy, intertwining guitar lines that play during Pearson’s segments are admittedly neat, that is until they are rinsed and repeated throughout all 11 tracks. And while on the subject, Tillian Pearson has the unfortunate position of being yet another follow up to the infamous Johnny Craig, a man with a fervent if not inexplicable fan base. Sadly, he becomes the album’s biggest detractor. It isn’t so much that he is expressly “bad,” but just painfully weak. He sounds best with his vocals layered to give a false sense of strength and conviction.
Some of this can be attributed to the production, which is comparatively bad when placed next to Downtown Battle Mountain II
. Weird moments of auto-tune only compound the problem, especially when added to the amount of bizarrely placed moments that litter the entire record. The most notorious being the singular ~hip-hop~ found at the end of the eponymous song, which really just amounts to “black man shouting.” And while that sounds racial insensitive, it isn’t like Dance Gavin Dance care given the subject matter they sing about with reckless abandon. After a few lines of “Honey Revenge,” the listener becomes keenly aware that Pearson is sweetly singing about a very creepy instance of rape. “Whether you want it or not/ whether you like it or not,” Dance Gavin Dance are going to offend you. Whether this is from their questionable lyrics or outright awful music remains to be said.
In conclusion, Acceptance Speech
is really bad.