Dance Gavin Dance
Downtown Battle Mountain II


3.5
great

Review

by gabethepiratesquid USER (1 Reviews)
March 4th, 2011 | 185 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We REALLY Need to Learn Some New Tricks Pt. 4 3/7

Dance Gavin Dance. A band that has had more changes in line-ups than Arnold Schwarzenegger has in body fat. From having virtually no original members, save the lead guitarist and drummer, to having nearly the full original line-up back, this band has been through a lot. Scandals, contempt, betrayal, you name it. But has all of their hardships they've been through pay off in having them pull off the magnum opus that they've been trying to create? Let's find out.

The album begins with Jonny Craig's renowned croons, leading quickly into a screaming frenzy from Jon Mess, and it's almost immediately noticeable how much he has improved in his vocals. Whereas his screams were decent and unique before, they could have easily been compared to Nathan Lane with rabies. The album progresses and to be honest, it's extremely catchy on first listen. Like, air drum-inducing catchy. And on top of that, everything just seems so clean. Jon Mess' vocals are actually now admirable, Jonny Craig has toned down his vocals so the band doesn't seem to be pure vocal masturbation, and not to mention that Jon Mess' trademark surreal lyrics have gotten even weirder. Everything you would have loved from the previous albums are here, too; be it from Downtown Battle Mountain's beautiful vocal work, to their Deathstar self-titled's technicality, and even Happiness' funk. Yes, on going through this album a first time, it seems to be what Dance Gavin Dance was striving to make: a magnum opus.

Now let's give it a closer listen.

While the tracks are fun, they seem to have trends. They almost all start with some technical riff, to be followed by the pattern of Jon Mess frantically screaming during the up-tempo measures and Jonny Craig's descants in the melodic, poppy instrumental sections in whichever order the band would please. Will Swan seems to have lost a large amount of creativity in this album, as well. When in previous releases, he would be sure to attempt new, more experimental methods at lead guitar, he seems comfortable in using the same techniques in this album that consist of the effect pedal, using nearly the same-styled riff for every technical bar, or the same old sweep.

In terms of composition, this band also seems to simply rehash their gimmicks from similar albums, but in a more rusted and less-experimental fashion. The funk passages are no longer full of pizazz, the vocals are getting themselves into grooves they seem too comfortable in and being completely devoid of emotion (unless you count, "Let's just try and get this done" as an emotion), as opposed to the pure energy that they showed with previous albums; and as said previously, all technicality is simply using the same guitar-tricks over and over again. Even the surreal lyrics can reach a point where they're simply getting cheesy. Dance Gavin Dance, a progressive post-hardcore band, has succeeded in becoming what no fan would ever think to describe them as: generic. While not necessarily generic in the genre of post-hardcore, the band seems generic in the sense that everything in this album has been done before, only better.

Though not to say this album is terrible. They've succeeded in making an album stronger and far more cohesive and polished than their debut LP, Downtown Battle Mountain, and the tracks are still undeniably entertaining; and there are some outstanding parts in songs that make this worth a listen. From Will Swan's rapping in 'Spooks', to nearly the entirety of 'The Robot With Human Hair Pt. 2 1/2', and the wonderful poppiness that's nearly impossible to not be amused by in 'Elder Goose', this album is very enjoyable, if nothing else.

So while Dance Gavin Dance has made possibly their most poppy and immediately gratifying album to date, it also happens to be their least creative, as it gets shallow and stale on closer inspection and multiple listens.



user ratings (1386)
3.6
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Comments:Add a Comment 
gabethepiratesquid
March 4th 2011


4522 Comments


Since Rise Records is streaming the album on Youtube, I'd say the reviews of this album are up for grabs

Narshh
March 4th 2011


1193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Decent write up...completely disagree

WatchItExplode
March 4th 2011


8194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds like everything I wanted this album to be....stoked

gabethepiratesquid
March 4th 2011


4522 Comments


Oh, and since this is the first review I've written since September of 2009, any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.

I expect to be negged at least once of for the rating being lower than a 4.5, though.

MalleusMaleficarum
March 4th 2011


16382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i think 3.5 is a good rating for this at least for now.

Spluger
March 4th 2011


1972 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just got this early today in a pre order shipment.



Gunna listen to it in a bit .

coleba
March 4th 2011


808 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Upon first stream it seems incredibly boring and corny as hell. The fact that there's a rap verse in the first song pretty much sums it up.

Ire
March 4th 2011


41945 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweeet





can't wait to be utterly disappointed

Rev
March 4th 2011


9882 Comments


Gonna listen to this right now. Probably not gonna like it

I'm probably the only person who loves Death Star

Ire
March 4th 2011


41945 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

< 3 deathstar album

Rev
March 4th 2011


9882 Comments


High five!

gabethepiratesquid
March 4th 2011


4522 Comments


Deathstar is probably my favorite album of theirs.

Rev
March 4th 2011


9882 Comments


...guess I'm not alone then

Anyway, this is pretty sweet so far

DinoX
March 4th 2011


3582 Comments


"This is like a beautiful salad of epicness. Jon's screams are the crispy iceberg lettuce and Jonny's vocals are like the smooth Ranch dressing that covers everything with tasty badassery. Fucking epic!" -Youtuber



Rev
March 4th 2011


9882 Comments


Beaver rap

gabethepiratesquid
March 4th 2011


4522 Comments


Oh no hey, that's cool. Neg me without telling me what to correct.

IAmHollywood
March 4th 2011


1443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Can't understand anything lower than a 4 for this, it's that good.

Rev
March 4th 2011


9882 Comments


Pos buddy. This is a lot of fun, probably gonna end up being 3.5-4

Can't get enough of the beaver rap though

Narshh
March 4th 2011


1193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

every release from this band from dtbmI to this has been a 4 for me...for some reason though i just feel like this deserving of a 4.5...Mess's improved vocals (even though they're becoming over hyped now), Craig's willingness to not wail as loud as he can and actually stay back and provide the appropriate tone, and the improved instrumentation. I agree that its more or less the same style of instruments, but they really did make some memorable breakdowns. See: Need Money, and Purple Reign for improvement in instrumentation...and See: Spooks, Thug City, and Blue Dream for fun...other tracks have their moments too but i've only listened to the album like twice now. Mayb it'll go down to a 4 like the rest of their discog

ShinXetsu
March 4th 2011


605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn I'm actually doing a write up on this soon, not a bad review at all, but you could've used some more of the songs to illustrate what you thought was wrong with the album. Have a pos.



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