Downtown Battle Mountain II Review

artist: Dance Gavin Dance date: 04/08/2011 category: compact discs
Dance Gavin Dance: Downtown Battle Mountain II
Released: Mar 8, 2011
Genre: Post-hardcore, alternative rock, experimental rock
Label: Rise
Number Of Tracks: 11
Downtown Battle Mountain 2 is the comeback old DGD fans have been looking for, and more.
 Sound: 9.5
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) 19 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Downtown Battle Mountain II Reviewed by: ninjagayden777, on march 09, 2011
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 7

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Downtown Battle Mountain II Reviewed by: roland_96, on april 08, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of this album is comparable, oddly, equally to Fall Out Boy, Chiodos, and The Mars Volta. The record does pretty much whatever the hell it wants to, in the greatest possible way. The impossible guitar licks, the soulful/enraged dual vocals, and nothing less that incredible rhythm section make up for one amazing album. I don't think many people have heard something like this, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Songs like "Thug City," "Pounce Bounce," and "The Robot With Human Hair 2 1/2" are the most incredible, when they exemplify the ability of the band to create some amazing faux-math rock riffs (the most technical must be "Need Money," whose breakdown and wah-soaked bridge bring goosebumps), with spastic and humorous lyrics and outstanding delivery. But the album isn't just straightforward rock, or post-hardcore. The lush, Hendrix-esque balladry seen on "Blue Dream" is definitely not to be missed, as well as psychedelic breakdowns, bordering on King Crimson meets Zeppelin territory can be found throughout, especially on "The Robot With Human Hair 2 1/2." // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on the album are something, yet again, like Fall Out Boy or The Mars Volta. They make absolutely no sense most of the time, but aren't supposed to. The screams of Jon Mess in "Thug City" declaring "I'm lethally overdosed on pumpkin pie, yeah, the future is Mt. Delicious, son!" are hilarious, but when Jonny Craig comes in, almost under the radar at first, with "Feel the room filling up with smoke, billowing, billowing up, holding on for the worst, rise above" really give the songs an ethereal and emotional overtone which balance each other perfectly. As far as singing ability? I don't think anyone on the scene can touch Jonny Craig. His soul influenced voice definitely shows out as a high point on "Downtown Battle Mountain II." On "Blue Dream" or "Elder Goose," he definitely draws from a similar place as Patrick Stump on an great day. // 9

Overall Impression: I really think this is one of the best albums of the year, and to that point, the highest point of Dance Gavin Dance's current discography. I never listened to music with much screamed vocals as this before now, but if you are looking into finding really good post-hardcore music, look no further. // 10

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