Review Summary: Instantly gratified!
Despite being signed to Rise Records, a label that immediately conjures images of men with emo fringes, snapbacks, and an incredible inability to play more that 2 chords, Dance Gavin Dance are a band well worth listening to. Whereas many bands of their genre all sound the same, playing songs full of pointless breakdowns and power chords, Dance Gavin Dance actually make some quite intricate and unique songs. The band has been plagued with line up changes, specifically in the vocalists position, to an almost ridiculous level. Despite this fact, DGD go on strong, creating albums that hold up and will be listened to for years to come.
Instant Gratification starts of with a powerful opener, "We Own The Night". Tilian Pearson's vocals kick the track off, and it is immediately evident his vocal work has improved massively since Acceptance Speech. There is power and meaning behind his singing, it feels like he is truly putting his heart into this album, hitting every note with impeccable accuracy. His vocal work is superb on all tracks, right through to the end. Jon Mess is truly something to behold on this album, his unclean vocals are full of emotion and power and despite being 'screamed' they don't sond forced like some vocalists of this genre, and it doesn't feel as though his vocal chords are being strained. Both frontmen display incredible skill and talent on this album, with singing that makes you feel both soothed and attacked.
The musicianship is the true highlight of this album. Every instrument is clearly distinguishable, all of them working in tandem to create masterful songs that are both beautiful, and a lot of fun to listen to. Each guitar is distinguishable, playing solo parts that when put together, create an incredible sound, that truly seperates them from the rest of the metalcore schlock. The majority of bands from this genre create songs out of power chords, DGD rely on intricate individual guitar parts working together to create their songs. The bass guitar is distinguishable on every track, with Tim Feerick using mutliple methods, including slap-bass, which truly makes each song sound and feel like a cohesive effort. The percussion work is also superb, with Matt Mingus truly showing off his skills. The drum patterns on each song are different from the last, with every piece in his kit playing a part in creating masterful percussion sections.
The lyrical content is also top-notch. "On the Run" contains some of the best the band has to offer, even including some tongue in cheek lyrics "LEGS! don't matter, they're softening, I'm limpin' BUGS! don't matter, no death is suffering, SO SQUISH IT!". These lyrics would have sounded absolutely ridiculous, had it not been for Jon Mess' excellent delivery. The songs may be about failing relationships, getting smashed and blowing chunks, and even being a 'sugardaddy', but DGD know how to make these subjects sound less whinny, and more powerful and serious.
Some songs however to fall short, well, one song in actuality. "Eagles Vs. Crows" is a decent track, but the rap sections just ruin it completely. If the song was released on its own, then it could have worked, but it ruins the flow and overall mood of the album. Aside from this small hiccup, Instant Gratification is close to perfect.
All in all, Instant Gratification is a huge improvement over the bands previous lackluster effort, with each member putting their heart and soul into this album. A true joy to listen to, highly recommended to anyone looking for something fresh and original to listen to