La Dispute
Vancouver


3.5
great

Review

by Mall USER (42 Reviews)
January 20th, 2015 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'm reading over your shoulder

Long before their explorations into epic song structures, La Dispute were simply a brilliant post-hardcore band. On their debut EP Vancouver the band may not be at their creative peak, but they prove they're capable of winning a race it often feels like they're always placing second in. With a vocal approach built off the opening scream of 'Future Wars', Jordan Dreyer conveys pure aggression in a way that evades the cringeworthy (like on Somewhere...) or the melodramatic. Thankfully, his lyrics are much better here than any of the bands subsequent material, and his screech of 'whoever called the night a blanket had never felt the cold' on the aforementioned 'A Word of Welcome and Warning' might be the simplest metaphor for heartbreak Dreyer ever came up with.

It's vital to appreciate the vocals in order to like a La Dispute song, and that's what makes this such a great release and Somewhere... such a poor one. Although his contributions to the latter were full of passion, the spoken word approach had yet to blossom into something beautiful, and so every time he lapsed into ranting about his heartbreak things become a tad unlistenable. This however is just straight up aggression from start to finish, with even the most fragile vocals (on 'See You In Vancouver') seeming as unwaveringly bitter. But, as Untitled proved, even the bands greatest attempts at fury falter when the music they're churning out is horribly generic.

No such concerns should be raised towards Vancouver. The chunky riffs sound shockingly modern despite this now being nearly nine years old, and the drums use the typically diverse percussion techniques to smother every inch of the EP. Really though it's the bassist that deserves credit here, as on every song his taut rffs create an unbearable tension broken only by Dreyers ear-splitting screams. The lack of comical growls or yelps really helps here, as it gives the band a more serious undertone that makes them much less easy to make fun of.

The best way to describe Vancouver is 'Said the King to the River' (with that gorgeous bassline) sans the dreadful vocal delivery. Most of the songs are very similar (except closer 'Untitled' with its haunting piano) but it's still by far the strongest material they ever released, with just as many great riffs here as on Somewhere... but a shorter time frame and lack of a unifying concept to restrict their creativity.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
January 20th 2015


6738 Comments


need that slash [ i ] [ / i ]

treeqt.
January 20th 2015


16964 Comments


good album

treeqt.
January 20th 2015


16964 Comments


(i lied)

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
January 20th 2015


10652 Comments


Seemed like you focused a bit much on how much you dislike their debut album and how inferior it is but good job.

Archelirion
January 20th 2015


5870 Comments


'as on every song his taught riffs' - Should that be tight, or even taut? Great review by the way, I need to get round to listening to this one.

trackbytrackreviews
January 20th 2015


3403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol vancouver

Digging: The Devil Wears Prada - The Act

Lord(e)Po)))ts
January 20th 2015


46224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good city bad band

trackbytrackreviews
January 20th 2015


3403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tree this is like their best work




lol

treeqt.
January 20th 2015


16964 Comments


cApItAlIzAtIoN

treeqt.
January 20th 2015


16964 Comments


you can disable that tbh

treeqt.
January 20th 2015


16964 Comments


album is shit tbh

trackbytrackreviews
January 20th 2015


3403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tbh

SharkTooth
January 21st 2015


14137 Comments


I used to live in this band's hometown (which is not Vancouver), it was actually a nice place tbh
not a fan of the band tho

YakNips
January 21st 2015


19874 Comments


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5bYDhZBFLA



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