Dance Gavin Dance
Acceptance Speech 2.0


4.5
superb

Review

by AndreBourbeau USER (9 Reviews)
September 24th, 2019 | 105 replies


Release Date: 08/30/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Never satisfied. Or just never coming back."

When I listened to Dance Gavin Dance in my mid-teens, just before Acceptance Speech was released in 2013, I had a problem with how producer Kris Crummett approached the band’s early music. I adored Jonny’s inimitable belts, Matt Mingus’ tight drumming, and Will Swan’s mastery of his instrument, but I felt that Crummett’s approach was too loud, too natural, and too loose. I yearned for what I thought could be a tighter, more subdued mix, one that might reign in the band’s eccentricities. When I heard “The Robot with Human Hair, pt. 4” for the first time, then, I was overjoyed. One-off producer Matt Malpass had given me exactly what I wanted: a restrained, floaty, quieter master, a significantly better-sounding Jon Mess, and a poppier experience than before. I appreciated Tilian’s angelic highs, the expressive melodies, and the intricacy of the writing. I appreciated the album’s darker tone.

It was only in 2018, when I heard the live versions of “The Jiggler” and “The Robot with Human Hair, pt. 4” on Tree City Sessions, that I began to sour on the record. Hearing the two songs free of Malpass’ uninspired and flat mix, and bursting with the energy inherent in the compositions, I saw that Acceptance Speech could have been much more than it was. I yearned for a remaster. And one year on, my wish has been granted, courtesy of Crummett himself. Crummett is in hindsight one of post-hardcore’s best producers, and Acceptance Speech 2.0 is a shocking, if not revelatory, remake. Listening to the title upon its release, I could hardly believe it was the same album, let alone the same recording. I was completely wrong many years ago: the best parts of Dance Gavin Dance’s songs are their dynamics, their progressive leanings, and their bizarro tendencies. Malpass’ mix only muted these strengths and boxed them in. Crummett’s natural, louder, and looser take maximizes their potential. It is surprising, almost surreal, to say, but Acceptance Speech 2.0 is a really, really good record, and a marked improvement on the original.

Acceptance Speech 2.0 sounds massive, as if someone removed mutes from the band’s instruments. Swan’s riffs, some of the most beautiful he has composed, soar, and his solo at the end of “Turn Off the Lights, I’m Watching Back to the Future pt. II” is still awesome. Mingus’ drums, which previously felt feeble, hit hard, especially on “Demo Team”. You can actually hear Tim Feerick's bass now. Jon Mess, who was already terrific on the Malpass version, is more shapely and sharp. No one benefits more here than Tilian, however. I disliked Tilian’s vocals on Acceptance Speech because of the effects placed on his voice. Tilian showed in Tides of Man that he possesses impressive belting abilities, yet he came off as airy. Malpass made him, notwithstanding his already-light timbre, too bright and feminine. Crummett has rescued him: his performance is firmer and heavier, and one can finally appreciate his usual vocal gymnastics. Tilian is a phenom, even in a genre dominated by stupidly high tenors, and Acceptance Speech 2.0 is one of his finest showings.

Many of my initial quibbles with Acceptance Speech have not been addressed. I am not convinced that the band are able to effectively reconcile the record’s cringe elements, from Swan’s rapping to the robot sounds on “Demo Team” and “Honey Revenge”’s creepypasta lyrics, with its genuinely moving harmonies and careful details. The album is a tad too long, and there might be too many breakdowns for my taste. A remaster cannot fix these hitches. But the endearing creativity of Acceptance Speech 2.0’s songs, and Crummett's refreshing treatment of said songs, demands revisiting. Acceptance Speech 2.0 is one of Dance Gavin Dance’s strongest efforts, albeit one that was stuck in purgatory. Crummett, thankfully, has saved it from its fate.



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user ratings (164)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
AndreBourbeau
September 24th 2019


141 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

first review in a long while. thought i'd try a more personal take. still not 100% sure about the score really -- could be anywhere from a 4 to a 5. feedback always appreciated! cheers

stasar
September 24th 2019


165 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I broadly agree with this hot take

Get Low
September 24th 2019


8679 Comments


The release of this re-release reminded me check out the album again (via the re-release), which ultimately lead me to the conclusion that I don't like this album nearly as much as I thought I did. I even had it rated a 4 at one point, but I just find it so boring compared to Instant Grat.

keza
September 24th 2019


489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

About time someone gave the remaster a review. It's so much better than the original that it shouldn't be allowed

SteakByrnes
September 24th 2019


21540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This shit make my booty clap

Digging: Coletta - Idealism

Get Low
September 24th 2019


8679 Comments


I lol'd

brainmelter
September 24th 2019


7191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Instant Gratification is better but this definitely sounds better than the original

Digging: Plague Rider - Rhizome

Get Low
September 24th 2019


8679 Comments


Oh for sure.

Sinternet
September 24th 2019


23426 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

honestly this is their best album - it always was but now it's even better



strawberry swisher pt. 3 just goes so fucking hard man

Digging: Shygirl - ALIAS

Feather
September 24th 2019


6284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The end of doom & gloom is absolutely jaw dropping on this remaster. By far the heaviest thing this band has done. Sounded completely muted on the original. I think this might be my favorite Tillian record now and it used to easily be my least favorite.

Digging: Seahaven - Halo of Hurt

Feather
September 24th 2019


6284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It was only in 2018, when I heard the live versions of “The Jiggler” and “The Robot with Human Hair, pt. 4” on Tree City Sessions, that I began to sour on the record. [2]



THIS. Especially when I heard The Jiggler ... I didn't even recognize the song.

JayEnder
September 24th 2019


8720 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Crispiest remaster of all time. Sooooo good.



Instant Grat needs a remaster next. Production aged HORRIBLY on that record.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2019


57466 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt5b7jx18QY



why would they do this to Walt Jr.

Digging: HORSE the band - Your Fault

Feather
September 24th 2019


6284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Instant Grat is fine as is ... AS is the only one that wasnt mastered by the same dude until now

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2019


57466 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

What am I missing with this, remixing a bad album does not make a good album

Pikazilla
September 24th 2019


13305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

honestly this is their best album - it always was but now it's even better



yep, it is

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2019


20582 Comments


dont think ive ever heard sput think a remaster was better than the original

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2019


57466 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

To be fair you have to have a fairly high IQ to understand Tillian era DGD

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2019


27205 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

it's their best album treb you post-hardcore boomer

Digging: Trh - Novej kalhnjnnp

Pikazilla
September 24th 2019


13305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

All DGD fans have high iq



Apart from those who think Deathstar/DBM are the best



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