La Dispute
Rooms of the House


4.5
superb

Review

by Guzzo CONTRIBUTOR (25 Reviews)
March 12th, 2014 | 148 replies


Release Date: 03/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Maturation.

I once wrote that in order for me to have appreciated La Dispute’s Somewhere at the Bottom… I needed some sort of heartbreak to happen to me, and it did. I believed that album to be fantastic in its despair, its lust for the viewer to relate to Dreyer’s lyrics, and I still believe it’s a bond that makes the album incredibly special. On Rooms of the House there is none of that relation; nothing I can personally relate to I mean. No, here on La Dispute’s third LP, I feel for the fictional characters rather than relating the lyrics to my own troubles. Here I sit with my eyes closed and watch as the story unfolds.

And it’s unabashedly depressing. In fact, there isn't a single moment of genuine happiness to be found. The album starts with the decline of a married couple’s romance, showing us how hollow their once thought “everlasting” love has become and eventually ends with the aftermath of it all. From beginning to end it’s an album that does an excellent job retaining the listener’s interest, though some might find it incredibly difficult to finish the LP on one listen, simply from the sheer heaviness of the themes explored. What makes this album’s concept rise above just about anything else in music today is the fact it’s fictionalized. It’s very easy to provide tension and grip the listener when telling a true story, but to provide the same level of attention through a fictional story is another feat in itself. And they do it here through a variety of different ways. “HUDSONVILLE, MI 1956” puts us in a first person view of the wife who is off visiting her family while her husband is forced to stay for the weekend because of work. Then a tornado strikes. We feel the anguish of the unknown, the worry that overcomes the two over whether they are alive or not. La Dispute puts us in moments of peril that captivate and enthrall such as this or on “THE CHILD WE LOST 1963” where we see the effects of a stillbirth through the eyes of a younger sibling. La Dispute fancies us a passenger, and drive us through exquisite imagery that is fully realized and astutely awe-inspiring at the subtly through which its picks at our heartstrings.

As I mentioned, perhaps the most important part about this album is how effectively it flows from start to finish. Wildlife saw the band beginning to understand cohesion, and here on Rooms of the House is the fully recognized execution of it. Gone are the days of La Dispute’s half-crazed tempo changes, and random drum fills. Here every track clocks in at under 5 minutes, and each one of the instruments sound balanced instead of competing for each other’s spot. The bass-line on “Scenes From Highways 1981-2009” artfully weaves in and out of the lead guitars riff, effectively creating a sense of being on a highway. “35” uses a sorrowful lead guitar line to the crashing of drums on an aggression filled chorus that is very reminiscent of Brand New’s structure on much of The Devil and God…. In actuality, where some of La Disputes more memorable moments on previous releases were their uncontrolled aggression, here it is the controlled moments that force the listeners ear’s to perk up. The melancholy found on tracks such as “Woman(In Mirror)” or “Objects in Space” are the most captivating moments on the LP. And while some are sure to be put off by the singing nature showcased, and there are some questionable moments, it is more times than not an efficient method to switch things up.

Rooms of the House is an album that will challenge your inner emotions, if you care enough to appreciate how well told the story is. If Somewhere at the Bottom was blind rage shown through youthful adolescence, then this is maturity through storytelling at its finest. La Dispute experiment with their sound a bit, and deliver an album that is sure to break you down, and you might question your ability to pick yourself back up. But that’s when you take your headphones out. You realize that it was just an album. An album that is absolutely enchanting and beautiful in its intricacies, and will surely find its way on many ‘Best of 2014’ lists by years end.



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user ratings (541)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
climactic
March 11th 2014


19976 Comments


oh gawd it begins

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hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2014


1730 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

WOO! Been a while since I read something from you my man, and just as good as always. Have to give this a fair listen, hearing a lot of good things about this.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2014


10382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

good review man, only thing i'll say is that you sometimes use unnecessarily obtuse words like 'maturation' and 'cohesiveness' (you could just as easily say maturity and cohesion)

first paragraph is gold.

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SadAndHolyGlow
March 11th 2014


1547 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review, dude! Good to see we have matching viewpoints on this. :]

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Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2014


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you, sirs!

@Hogan, Yeah, I've been looking for a newly released album that I truly felt compelled to write about, this just so happened to be it haha.

@Omaha, agreed. I notice it when I'm writing as well. I tend to get wordy in sections that don't really need it. Oh well, something to work on at least!

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2014


10382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

it happens man, ugh my older reviews were all about that. i used to overthink every single word haha

SnakeDelilah
March 11th 2014


9078 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I THINK I SAW YOU IN MY SLEEP DARLING I TOLD YOU I'M NO LONGER THE SAPPY FUCK WRITING TRAGEDIES IN SPITE OF YOU

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atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2014


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I literally just feel asleep listening to this : (

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2014


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't know what to think of it after about 3 listens yesterday. I listened a few times today, and
then when it got to be night, I turned off my lights and just tried to focus on the music, and it
really hit me.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2014


1730 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^what I thought of TBS's new album.. But I'm hoping i like this actually.

bringthegjaw
March 11th 2014


96 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Woman (In Mirror) doe!! Such a deep album. I do get a feel of the devil and god while listening.

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ASnideReturns
March 11th 2014


5241 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Holy shit no.
Gonna review this.

ProjectFreak
March 11th 2014


1443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

People keep saying 'omg these stories are so meaningful BUT THEY'RE FICTION WHICH MAKES IT EVEN BETTER!'

to me that makes them feel way less engaging, I had assumed that Wildlife was at least somewhat autobiographical (or
based on stories Dreyer had actually heard) which is part of why I loved it so much...

I know I will probably like this more if/when I get a chance to REALLY sit down and pick this apart, but right now, this just
lacks the emotional punch of Wildlife. I still like it a fair bit, but it's a step down for sure.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2014


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Am I the only one who thinks it just sounds like an extended Here, Hear Ep?

ProjectFreak
March 11th 2014


1443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Never bothered to listen to their EPs.

I dunno, I feel like this just seems more like La Dispute is just trying to sound mature, rather than actually maturing. But, again, parts of it are growing on me.

Give me a week or two (or a million) and I'll probably review this.

ILJ
March 12th 2014


6741 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

as a meteorologist, i appreciate the fact that they used an actual devastating tornado as the basis for their story.

Digging: FKA Twigs - LP1

Slut
March 12th 2014


2677 Comments


i wasn't really a fan of wildlife. is this just as boring?

ILJ
March 12th 2014


6741 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

yeah, it's kind of boring

Slut
March 12th 2014


2677 Comments


alright! guess i'm not checking this out


Wadlez
March 12th 2014


4670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Making your own opinion is a welcome option



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