Sound — 10
Erratic. Random. Funky. All words that very accurately label Dance Gavin Dance's new release, which finds original vocalists Jonny Craig and Jon Mess back on their mics. Downtown Battle Mountain 2 doesn't neccisarily pick up where DTBM 1 left off. Instead, it reinvents the Dance Gavin Dance wheel (again) to offer a completely unique listening experience. The album kicks off with Spooks, which pretty much sums up the entire album: this will be one weird journey. The song opens with the sexy strains of Jonny's voice, which segways into Jon's spastic (and vastly improved) screaming, and flows well into a short rap (no you didn't misread that) by guitar virtuoso Will Swan. The instrumentation is amazing as always this go-around, with Swan writing all of the guitar parts, and like the first DTBM, Matt Mingus' drum parts cut through the mix triumphantly.
Lyrics — 7
DGD are back at the top of their game with both of their original vocalists in the mix. Jonny, as always, croons and swoons melodically over the chaotic mix, and screamer Jon Mess screams like an epileptic seisure, but with a tad more class and flow. Lyrically, this album is way out in the ether. Jon admitted recently in an interview that most of their lyrics are written for artistic flow, rather than for creating an overall "meaning", and this is very obvious. In the album's first single, Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex, Jon screams the following abstract jem of a line: Don't be tardy for my leaky Barbie TV party pee in the park. Yeah....may not make ANY sense, but the delivery more than makes up for the relative lack of meaningful content.
Overall Impression — 9
Downtown Battle Mountain 2 is the comeback old DGD fans have been looking for, and more. It combines the best things from every era of the band: the original DTBM vocal stylings, the Happiness funk, and the Death Star Album songwriting strength. I can honestly come up with no things in particular that I hate about this album even after 10+ attentive listens. Song highlights for me include Bounce Pounce, The Robot With Human Hair pt. 2-1/2, Thug City, and Swan Soup. Now lets just hope this lineup will hold together long enough to make a DTBM3. And no, this album does NOT include a macbook.