Sound — 8
Everyone behold Dance Gavin Dance, with their latest effort, "Acceptance Speech." Nearly 2 and a half years ago we last heard "Downtown Battle Mountain II," and here we are in 2013, with Jonny Craig not present in the band's lineup yet again. So instead, he is replaced by Tilian Pearson (formerly of Tides Of Man). Upon finding this news earlier this year, I went ahead and looked up this other band he was once in, and while the band itself did not strike me as my cup of tea, Tilian's voice itself sounded one that would soothe many ears. Upon just listening mostly for his voice, I still could not imagine what DGD would sound like with him. Looking back at this thought I once had, now I see what Tilian is really capable in DGD. His voice strikes down some of the highest notes that possibly even Jonny couldn't do. If I wanted to imagine what Tilian's voice sounds closet to, to vocalists similar to his, I would have to say his voice is much like Kellin Quinn meets Anthony Green. All 3 vocalists have high pitched vocals, but to be brutally honest, Tilian is far greater than that of Kellin Quinn, for the most part. They just have a trace of similarity in vocals. With Tilian being the beast of the band, along we have Jon Mess and Will Swan cooking up some of most tasteful uncleans and Swan adding with rapping. With Swan's guitar leads, and Josh Benton helping out, the equation results in some of the greatest guitar work I've heard in the post-hardcore genre in years. If anyone can think of a modern post-hardcore band that can outdo DGD in the guitar area, hit me a message, but right now, these guys have earned their way on this list. If anyone remembers The Fall Of Troy, don't be surprised if this album reminds you of that band. And who's to say the basslines and drum beats are also catchy as hell?
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are what you can expect from a DGD album. Silly song names, but with a catch to it. DGD does not mess around with the word "unoriginal." Instead, you're met with some of the quirkiest, silliest lyrics that seem to not even make sense. But then you think to yourself, is there more meaning behind this? That's what makes DGD so much different to any other band out there. When you listen to DGD, you listen to music. You listen to something creative and original. Take the very first song on the album, for example; "Jesus H. Macy": "Well I'm the sugar-coated tooth, and I have come to ruin your mood While staring at the frozen foot, I realized I'm stupid too Well Farming isn't fun at all, and I will build a thousand malls And eat the food courts flesh, from every single city." Whatever you just read is something that DGD randomly thought of. Something crazy went on in their minds to think of such obscure, puzzling lines. That obscurity is something that no one could explain. Something else DGD is very well known for is the series within a song title. "The Robot With Human Hair Pt. 4" also features some of the weirdest lyrics: "Back to sloth and sleeping binges Self defeating outburst, cringes Thoughts gets rusty, creaky hinges Lost that box of clean syringes." And "Death of the Robot With Human Hair" introduces some of the biggest moments in DGD history. The way the song is closed is just "oh so beautiful" (for lack of better words). Along with that, comes one of my favorite tracks on the album, titled "Demo Team." I've never heard DGD do breakdowns ever, but on this song they do, and it's downright sexy. The vocal editing is pretty sick too.
Overall Impression — 8
With a fairly long awaited release, I must say I was happy with this album. Not many other post-hardcore bands compare to Dance Gavin Dance. They're clearly one of a kind, making music that they want to make. Tilian brought something new and fresh to the band, and while I had some bad feelings about him being new to the band, the album blew me away. Sure, it took a few listens to really appreciate it, but that's what DGD does. They make you think, and they make you listen over and over again to try to get in your head. Some bands in this scene come and go, but Dance Gavin Dance doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. Until then, cheers, and pick up this album if you haven't already.