Dance Gavin Dance Born To Bestow ‘Instant Gratification’
Practically bleeding progressive drops of hardcore creation, Dance Gavin Dance force a rhythm into your step with their aptly titled new release ‘Instant Gratification’.
Tilian Pearson and Jon Mess’s monumental singing ranges have the ability to mesmerise the listener into a soft hypnotic lull before their familiar hurricane sound comes rushing in to carry all cares to the wind. The captivating rhythm their new LP contains, adds not only a swaying motion to your listening pleasure but something that only this band have achieved in such a successful manner, which is a sound modern day rockers and contemporary dancers can have in relation.
A trancelike unconventionality has always been the playing card of this Sacramento-born 5-piece. From previous albums such as ‘Acceptance speech’ and ‘Happiness’ being anything but another couple of post-hardcore rock albums to add to the litter, the off-beat musicians skilfully wrap a gentle sensuality around their raw alternative style, which has sat comfortably for them over the years as the perfect balance of dedication and determination.
With a deeper examination of the new release, a pattern is slightly transparent through song structure. The tracks travel in pairs through the album, each paired with a different song approach and carefully dotted around randomly, so not to follow a monotonous routine of similar sounds blending into a half hour long song.
The lyrical methods that Dance Gavin Dance are famous for have always been a marmite topic, in the sense that many would argue of style overbearing substance. This to their fans, has never been the case. Their unusual technique dashes between the strikingly obscure to the painfully obvious, but any poetry fans know that bouncing between these two methods can keep the reader (or in this case listener) from losing interest and even magnify the content.
The opening track of the album “We Own The Night” and closing track “Lost” are enough to convince even the most weary enthusiast that the group have not lost any of the exotic playing fashion that they add into their work.
With “Stroke God, Millionaire”, the urge to dance your socks off does not dampen in the slightest as Mr Pearson recommends letting him “blow your mind” along with the encouraging message of “Legend” which is to “Aim for the moon, no looking back”.
Melting into a shapeless dance form, the music style adapts something of a rock samba style with “On The Run” and “Eagle vs Crows”. With a collection of polyrhythms, chop-shop drumming style and even Will Swan adding accompanied vocals on one track, both can easily be defined as the definition of funky and exciting.
“Shark Dad” and “Variation” add a dash of venom to this very upbeat LP with ragged and jagged screams penetrating every inch of the track like a butcher’s knife and a pinnacle of reaching impressive high strung male singing notes.
Regaining the former upbeat ambience, “Awkward” and “Death of a strawberry” enter with a quirky guitar hiccup in its step ready to spice up the atmosphere with pertinent lyrics which discuss poisonous relationships and poor life plans compared with expectations.
In conclusion, Dance Gavin Dance, like a phoenix from the ashes, has an incredible talent for giving new life to their music with each passing LP. A band who constantly deliver a grand, dramatic and complicated ensemble that their audience adore and the artists were born to create.
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Words by Nathan Roach