Sound: "Vancouver" is the debut work of post-hardcore band La Dispute. It is an EP that was released back in 2006, and features some really interesting sounds. The EP opens up with some very enthusiastic drumming, which sets the path for the upcoming songs, and the band begins to power through the first song, "Future Wars". From there, guitar work can be expected to be powerful, passionate and intricately beautiful throughout the EP. It is layered nicely, giving more overall depth to the band's sound. The drumming follows suit, with thundering parts, and other ones that seem to help slow the band as a whole together. Add in some subtle bass work and some very impacting vocals, and you have a great sound coming from this band. Also featured is a short piano part, found in the last song of the EP, "Untitled".
The EP as a whole features a general quieter part about 4 songs in, then approaches a huge climax with "Fairmount", and then it disappears quickly with the piano/vocal duo in "Untitled". There is always a lot of power present behind the lyrics and the nature of the music itself really accents what is being implied by the lyrics.
01. Future Wars
02. A Word Of Welcome and Warning
03. See You In Vancouver
04. To Withstand The Force Of Storms
05. He Is Here, He Is Not Afraid
06. The Surgeon And The Scientist
08. Untitled // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics put out by La Dispute are intricate and can be really engaging. The vocalist, Jordan, always seems to be putting in a great deal of effort as to how the lyrics are presented, and I feel that brings a big positive aspect to the band. Whether people like them or not, his singing is often one of the main discussion points on La Dispute.
The beginning of the EP is always memorable, with the whole band erupting in sound and then these lyrics presented:
"Crows, wipe the blood from the end of your claws.
Said the vulture
Let's gather like storms for the war"
The general vibe of the lyrics has a doubtful, negative feel to it, as if someone is about to give up fighting for something. I really felt like this was highlighted about midway through the climax song, "Fairmount":
"I've slept for twenty years, but I've acted strong at least
if you're leaving again, then you're leaving again
and you're gone.
and I feel nothing anymore, so just keep walking away
I'll watch you for every second and never feel alone.
I've been sleeping
for at least the last two years
my dear, my princess, my sister, my lover, my friend.
I made you a bed of thorns for every rose you ever left outside my door,
that's all you ever left me."
The huge emotional connection that seems to be going on here combined with the nature of the music can make the songs heart-wrenching. Some of them are easily relate-able, and others are more like laid-out stories that are usually beyond what most people have or will experience. Jordan's vocal style varies quite a bit throughout the EP, and he caters to specific song sections differently, giving the lyric presentation a more dynamic and impacting feel. He has a good voice no matter how he applies it, and it is interesting to hear the different ways he goes about his duty. // 9
Overall Impression: "Vancouver" is a good EP from La Dispute, it give a general layout of what one can expect from their future releases. It takes the listener through a little ride of emotions and sound, spitting you out with a feeling of wonder and curiosity. It is a very notable contribution to the post-hardcore scene, and can be a good starting point for people interested in a group of bands called The Wave (which also features Touche Amore, Pianos Become The Teeth, Defeater, and Make Do And Mend). // 8