The album starts with the track Jesus H. Macy, an almost standard sounding DGD track. This is pretty much the structure of the majority of the album, amazing guitar riffs from Will Swan, unclean vocals from Jon Mess complete with off the wall and absurd lyrics, and Acceptance Speech was the first album to have clean vocals done by Tilian Pearson. Another first for the record is being produced by Matt Malpass, this is the only record in the band’s entire 14 year spreading discography to not be produced by Kris Crummett. The production on the album is mixed with most people not liking how Tilian sounds on the record, personally this never bothered me, as I can hear his singing just fine and it never sounded off.
The next song is also the lead single from Acceptance Speech, The Robot With Human Hair Part IV. It starts with Mess’s usual screams and a damn solid and groovy guitar riff from Swan that sounds like it could have fit on Happiness. Even though the song isn’t on the same level as something like Carl Barker, the groove during the chorus is great. I feel like this is the track where Pearson’s vocals and Swan’s guitar riffs really shine.
Next we have the title track, Acceptance Speech, the last was where Pearson and Swan really showed what they can do. This song is almost all Mess and percussionist, Matt Mingus. The majority of the song is dependent on Mess screaming “I Do! I Do!” this reminded me of gang vocals present on A Day to Remember and Four Year Strong records, and aside from the refrain in the 2nd half of the song, it feels like Mess is having a mental breakdown as he screams. The cherry on top of this song is the outro, electronic drums and Swan rapping about bands who try to remake their first album over and over. It’s great and Swan needs to do more vocal features, he’s done a handful over the years but tracks with him rapping or singing on it are usually the highlight of that album for me.
After Acceptance Speech we get Carve, It’s not a bad song, it just doesn't give me much to talk about. It is a bit heavier than the other tracks on the album so that’s pretty cool. I just never find myself coming back to it. I feel the same way about Doom & Gloom, but I like Pearson’s vocals and lyrics more on it more than I do on carve.
Following those two songs we have the second sequel song, Strawberry Swisher Part III. It’s great, catchy and fast. Full of great drum work from Mingus and surprisingly dark lyrics that still remain hopeful, it was released as a single and for good reason, it was also the first music video the band had made since 2009’s Tree Village.
Honey Revenge is another really stellar song that I adore, lyrically it talks about stalking and Mess’s lyrics actually go with Pearson’s very well. I’m aware that Mess uses his lyrics more or less as a joke or to make the song flow better but I really enjoy when the two play off each other a bit. This is another song where the instrumentation takes a backseat and I tend to listen to it more for Pearson and Mess as vocalists, rather than seeing them as just another layer of instrumentation.
And now we have one of the best songs DGD has ever made. It’s full of heavy guitars, autotune and random breakdowns. Demo Team is pretty much taking shots at the majority of the Rise records roster and it’s great. From what I’ve heard the song was supposed to be a joke, it’s great and one of my favorites from the album.
The 3rd squeal song on the record is The Death of The Robot With Human Hair, coming in at 5 minutes long it’s the 2nd longest song on the album and completes the original line of Robot songs. Person’s vocal delivery is beautiful, the “everything will be just fine” from 4 minutes in is beautiful and I like the more electronic drum beat with Swan talking over it. It was a great way to end a series of songs that spanned 1 EP, 4 full albums and 8 years.
The only downside to an amazing song like that, is well, in the context of the album The Jiggler feels a bit underwhelming it’s a real shame because it’s a great song with great vocal deliveries from Person and Mess, some of the best drum work on the entire record. It’s still a great tune even if it does get a bit overshadowed by what came before and comes after it.
The final sequel song and final song on the record is Turn Off The Lights, I’m Watching Back To The Future Part II. In my opinion the 2nd best song the band has released, it has everything you’d want in a Dance Gavin Dance song. It’s beautifully crafted with Swan’s solo near the middle of the track never failing to give me chills as well as the few small callbacks to Downtown Battle Mountain II and Self Titled/Deathstar’s lyrics. This could have been the last Dance Gavin Dance song and I would have been okay with it. Acceptance Speech was the band trying to save themselves, while their last album ended on a bleek “I get a sense this is all overdone, But at least we’re having fun.” Acceptance Speech ends with “Disregard the message from the end of the album.” Showing that the band would and could continue. Acceptance Speech isn’t a perfect album, but it gave the band a lot of traction and started their relationship with Tilian which has brought them to be as big as ever, and for that I think it’s deserving of more praise.
Favorite Tracks: Back To The Future Pt.II, Demo Team, Strawberry Swisher Pt.II & The Death of The Robot With Human Hair
Least Favorite Tracks: Carve
Final Rating: 4.5/5
Other Comments: This was my first review so please leave constructive criticism, I had a great time listening to the album in full for the first time in over a year and I’d love to try writing another review soon!