La Dispute
Rooms of the House


4.5
superb

Review

by Micah-Nahum Ferguson is reading again. USER (22 Reviews)
March 12th, 2014 | 48 replies


Release Date: 03/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: suburbia, falling through

Jordan Dreyer has always written through the eyes of a child. His candid lyrics and visceral tone are so terrifyingly effective that it may force one to wonder why he even bothers to share his thoughts with anyone. He sees things with a direct gaze, and shares with words that anyone with a standard vocabulary in English would know, yet spins gold into them with such breathtaking imagery. He sees wonder and decay in everything and states it plainly. Songs like "Woman (Reading)" take after simple snapshots of life, whereas "The Child We Lost 1963" play more on thoughts of loss and existence. It all feels just too personal. It is rarely exhausting, it is rarely too weighty. Whether or not all the stories expressed through his lyrics are based in real events or a part of his own life at all, they're just too believable to not seem true.

Rooms of the House is the perfect soundtrack to suburbia falling through. The title alone describes a setting that any middle-class boy or girl can relate to growing up. It can mean so many things. And so does the album. Each song is an exhibition of a new emotion that anyone in this setting could experience. In many ways, the album is a museum, showing several different facets of life that are connected. Whether a song deals with joy or pain, there is a running motif of destruction. Speaking comparatively to their other work, Wildlife was an adventure of emotion that showcased Dreyer's poetic eye more than anything else, but did so perfectly. Here, Rooms of the House is that same achievement but magnified tenfold. The album opener, "Hudsonville, MI," paints a picture of a destructive tornado with acute detail and applies it all to one single man trying to reach a partner on the phone. This is one of the best cases of how the album so gracefully shifts its focus of a huge event to a human scale.

The music has stepped up as well. Guitarists Chad Sterenberg and Kevin Whittemore pull several influences from post-hardcore and alternative rock to create a more palatable sound that even one who is not a fan of the genre could grow accustomed to. Drummer Brad Vander Lugt and bassist Adam Vass create such a strong backbone to the songs, mostly due to the excellent production. The music is raw and simple yet has so much to offer with itself. "Woman (In Mirror)" shows the most ambitious side of the band, musically. Starting with an acoustic, Radiohead-esque riff, the song comes together with a snare-heavy drumbeat backed with thumpy bass. Dreyer's vocals here come closer to singing than ever before in their discography, as his tone is not far from the cathartic, slightly off-key feel of that of Brian McMahan of Slint. On the more emotional songs, the music takes the spotlight to drive the feelings home. The opening guitar and fuzzy bass line at the beginning of "35" mirrors the apocalyptic bedlam of Dreyer's frantic delivery as he tells the story of a bridge collapse.

The album is a cradle of emotion that never stops to breathe, whether reveling in its joy or sorrow. It's dangerous to ponder too hard on it because of this. Any evaluation of it has to be very slim because its mission is very simple: to move you. It's easy to pass this off as a collection of nothing more than bleeding heart, juvenile jargon. The band has tried their hand at everything from post-rock, screamo, and slam poetry, and the emotions they carry have always flowed freely through each stage of the band's development. The youthful lens that Jordan Dreyer so shamelessly peers through may be extraordinary to some, but off-putting and childish to others. His masterful writing is found in the subtlety of his tales. Through they are written in a very plain fashion, his delivery makes them seem so much more beautiful and honest. To some, it may be tiring. To the band, it's probably even tiring. But at least they're not afraid to share it.



Recent reviews by this author
Being As an Ocean How We Both Wondrously PerishNoisy Sins of the Insect Discography
The Caution Children Unknown LandsMy Personal Murderer Sisters Loving Brothers
Of Solitude and Solemn Starlight's GuideQuincunx Quincunx
user ratings (510)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Propose
March 11th 2014


813 Comments


4.5
le costanza face

LUM
March 11th 2014


29 Comments


can these guys and touche do any wrong, two best post hardcore bands ever

LUM
March 11th 2014


29 Comments


defeater is up there too

SadAndHolyGlow
March 11th 2014


1526 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Debatable.

Digging: Envy - A Dead Sinking Story

iswimfast
March 11th 2014


1332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not bad. very to the point.

album is as good as the rest of their discography, take that how you will.

SadAndHolyGlow
March 11th 2014


1526 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, man. Feel free to leave a pos if you feel so inclined.

LUM
March 11th 2014


29 Comments


nothing to debate besides the fact this is 10/5

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2014


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

album isnt even worth the time to rate in increments #officialsputnikopinion

SadAndHolyGlow
March 11th 2014


1526 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha.

FearThyEvil
March 11th 2014


12629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"can these guys and touche do any wrong, two best post hardcore bands ever"

1. No
2. Touche isn't post-hardcore (mainly I should say) since they delve more into Screamo/hardcore territory.
3. Neither is Defeater from your 2nd comment


YakNips
March 11th 2014


12010 Comments


Touche is totally post-hardcore

Digging: Purge. - Sewage

FearThyEvil
March 11th 2014


12629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I edited the comment. They got post-hardcore vibes but I wouldn't label that as their main thing.

LUM
March 11th 2014


29 Comments


omg genre tags, im too busy fucking every genre of bitch to care about that tshit

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2014


6160 Comments


Not really also this band sucks but king park is pretty cool

FearThyEvil
March 11th 2014


12629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Regardless of the genre though, to say Defeater, Touche Amore, and La Dispute are the best post-hardcore bands ever is pretty bad.

Ire
March 11th 2014


41804 Comments


hey john is this gay la dispute or is this more gay than usual la dispute can you comment on this?

iswimfast
March 11th 2014


1332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

less gay overall than both prior LP's but still gay.

Relinquished
March 11th 2014


25219 Comments


either way don't check it out

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2014


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I do not like to put homosexuals down in such a manner, I would never compare them to la dispute

this is less DARLING than usual la dispute though

PunchforPunch
March 11th 2014


6280 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

less darling = sucks



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 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy