Dance Gavin Dance
Afterburner


4.0
excellent

Review

by tyman128 USER (45 Reviews)
April 25th, 2020 | 871 replies


Release Date: 04/24/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Building upon the past.

Over the past few years, Dance Gavin Dance have solidified themselves as one of the most consistent acts in the post-hardcore scene, churning out numerous albums with top tier musicianship. With a ninth full length under their belt, it’s clear that Dance Gavin Dance show no signs of stopping as they continue to delve deeper into their well established sound, bringing forth a diverse array of beautiful, serene groove and abrasive, fierce progression in Afterburner.

Gliding over the immersive landscape, Will Swan’s intricate guitar patterns fluidly move effortlessly among the tracks. Listeners are confronted with dynamic layerings as multiple guitar tracks lie seamlessly over each other, contrasting melody with dissonance; beauty with rage. The opposition between the strings swimming in atmospheric effects of “Into the Sunset” and the guitars waging war in “Born to Fail” coalesce into a climatic experience of bombardment and serenity. A variety of influence is blatantly prevalent, drawing inspiration from Latin-style patterns in the Spanish oriented “Calentamiento Globe” while enforcing the abrasive construct of sister band, Secret Band, within riffs in “Say Hi.” Working parallel to Swan’s mastery, Tim Feerick’s bass grooves amplify the deeply rooted presence contained within each song. Although frequently in line with Swan’s riffs and melodies, the bass work has its sporadic moments in the spotlight, engraving a deeper groove into the aura of Afterburner. Whether sitting in cruise control, following suit of the six strings in tracks like “Nothing Shameful” or taking the forefront in “Strawberry’s Wake,” the basslines provide the listeners with an additional layer to dissect and fully appreciate. Providing the cohesion of the instrumentation lies the drum work from Matthew Mingus, gluing together all the variety of the album under one uniform performance. Stealthily progressing through a vast array of diverse styles, the drumming sets apart each individual track, injecting a refreshing sense of uniqueness into each moment as the album progresses. From the infectious groovy beats of “One in a Million” to the ferocious patterns of “Lyrics Lie,” Mingus ties the chemistry of the band together perfectly.

Injecting their impressive vocal performances, Tillian and Mess show off their versatility in mixing both the harsher screams and the melodic cleans. Tackling the higher register with ease, Tillian’s vocals soar over every chorus on the album, emphasizing the harmonies contained within the amalgamation of the foundational instrumentation. From the powerful chorus of “Prisoner” to the intriguing, atmospheric vocal phrasings in “Born to Fail,” Tillian utilizes his range to evoke a sense of power into the mix. What was once absent in previous releases becomes a primary perspective vocally as Tillian also manages to take on screams himself on tracks like “Lyrics Lie,” creating an even more diverse concoction in the vocal department. Starkly contrasting the melodies of Tillian lies Mess’ intense screams and shouts of nonsense. Consistently filling the heavier moments of the album with his raucous yells, Mess is at the top of his game, reminiscent of his efforts in Secret Band. Predominantly noticeable in the aggressive moments of “Say Hi” and the call-respond interaction in “Lyrics Lie,” his screams fulfill the desire for heaviness expected from listeners. Lyrically speaking, the album fails to hit the mark of an intentional portrayal of a story as the tracks jump back and forth between motifs and topics. From the revelation of a one-sided relationship of taking in “Nothing Shameful” to the irresistible attraction in “Three Wishes,” Afterburner falls short in providing any storyline to the progression of the record. However, this “nonsense” allows for Mess’ true potential to shine as he belts out some of his most nonsensical lyricism since Downtown Battle Mountain II. Screaming about ”multiple stab wounds” and how he’s ”just a corny cracker,” Mess’ absurd babbling adds a hint of letting go and letting the music take hold of the album.

With the experimentation in tracks like “Calentamiento Globe” and “Into the Sunset,” Dance Gavin Dance manages to venture out to various styles and influences to produce unique tracks to their catalog and provide a fresh experience for listeners. However, much of the remainder of the album relies on the tried-and-trusted formula of their previous releases, resorting to their comfortable groove of patterns and melodies. Regardless, Afterburner holds true to the Dance Gavin Dance sound that has garnered critical acclaim and amounted to a massive fan base, adding yet another solid addition to their expansive catalog.




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user ratings (344)
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
renegadestrings (4)
Give me substance, give me something...

ajcollins15 (3)
A band losing steam...

tyler (2)
No...

MrToothbrush (3.5)
Dance Gavin Dance by numbers...


Comments:Add a Comment 
tyman128
April 25th 2020


2050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This has been growing on me a lot since I first spun it. Definitely could see this grow to a 4.5 eventually

TheStoebZ
April 25th 2020


100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Didn't think it was their best on first listen. They tried a lot of new things here. It's really growing on me though.

tyman128
April 25th 2020


2050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

for sure, and I still don't think it's their best (Happiness still has that top position for me), but it is much better than when I first heard it. It went from about a 3.3 to a 4 after about 3 listens

joewelkie
April 25th 2020


6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think this album is my favorite of theirs so far. It's right up there with Mothership for me. I definitely enjoyed it more than Artificial Selection.

tyman128
April 25th 2020


2050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea, I find Artificial Selection to be one of their weakest so it definitely beats that out. This might end up being one of my favorite Tillian era albums, we'll see

SteakByrnes
April 25th 2020


19447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice review man! I agree with a lot of what you said haha, this has been growing with each listen

Digging: Spiritbox - Singles Collection

tyman128
April 25th 2020


2050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks man! hoping this continues to grow on me

TundraL5Z
April 25th 2020


4475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's a grower

Darius The Imposter
April 25th 2020


22347 Comments


someone be honest with me

is this disappointing


not steak hes biased

TundraL5Z
April 25th 2020


4475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's a grower

tyman128
April 25th 2020


2050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

at first, I was pretty disappointed with it... but as you can tell, not anymore

Darius The Imposter
April 25th 2020


22347 Comments


hmm ill give it a fair shot i suppose

tyman128
April 25th 2020


2050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

of all people, it took me to somewhat convince you

Storm In A Teacup
April 25th 2020


27769 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Glad there is finally a good review of this on here.

TundraL5Z
April 25th 2020


4475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yup I'm dumb cause I said the exact same thing ty said, seems legit

tyman128
April 25th 2020


2050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

my man, Storm

"yup I'm dumb cause I said the exact same thing ty said, seems legit"

I'm dumb alongside you, it's all good

Darius The Imposter
April 25th 2020


22347 Comments


"yup I'm dumb cause I said the exact same thing ty said, seems legit"

no you are dumb because historically you have a solid track record of being incessantly dumb, consistently

TundraL5Z
April 25th 2020


4475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have confessed my sins with the devil in confessional, I'm a changed person now. No, but seriously I'm trying to be less dumb/cringy in these threads, guess this is what maturing is like, huh

Darius The Imposter
April 25th 2020


22347 Comments


kudos to that, credit where its due least youre self aware

tyman128
April 25th 2020


2050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

making some progress





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