Sound — 9
About two years ago we were introduced to the new lead vocalist of Dance Gavin Dance. His name is Tilian Pearson (formerly of Tides Of Man). Their last album, titled "Acceptance Speech" hit the nail on the road for me. I was not expecting such a beautiful record. Did it stand the test of time, though? I'd say MOST of the album did, but at the same time, it was clear that the band was trying real hard to accommodate the change in the new vocals. With that said, my expectations for this new album were through the roof. Was I happy in return? Well, let's first off talk about each song.
The album start off with "We Own the Night," which honestly is the worst song off the album in my opinion. And I don't mean that in a bad way. It's just a bit weak for me, lyrically, and a bit guitar wise, but it's not bad. Just by DGD standards, it wasn't incredible. The second track, "Stroke God, Millionaire" also comes with a strange music video, but something you'd expect from these guys. The song is very melodic, but not something I or probably most people say "the best song on the album." "Something New," the 3rd track is a song that has been played at some recent live shows, so the song has already been exposed to some. It's a very catchy track though, and one of my favorites. The next track was the first song that leaked. It's called "On the Run." At first, I didn't think too much of it, but the song did grow on me a bit, but I think DGD's approach was to release the worst songs first... just kidding. But the next track is by far my favorite. Behold "Shark Dad." The riffs are extremely tasty and chaotic here. That word chaotic really only describes a few bands in this sort of scene, and one of those bands the riffs remind me of are something sort of The Dillinger Escape Plan would write, so that's quite an accomplishment! And of course, Jon Mess melds so well in this track, but at the same time it's not only him doing the work. Matt Mingus I must say is a very underrated drummer by the way. He doesn't get enough appreciation.
The next song, Awkward is honestly one of the more Tilian driven tracks. And I am perfectly ok with this. The guitar parts sound a bit grungy, unlike the next track, titled "The Cuddler," which falls into a category I would call beach music. I mean, it's groovy, it's catchy, and it's something I can imagine listening to while being near some palm trees, and some ladies. I mean, the song is called "The Cuddler" for a reason, right? The next track, "Legend," is legend. Nuff said there. "Eagles vs. Crows" is another favorite of mine. This is one of the few songs where there is a little bit of Will Swan rapping, which to me sets the mood of the song. "Death of a Strawberry" is another song that really has Tilian in the spotlight, and is my favorite lyrically. "Variation" has some sweet guitar riffs that sound a bit grungy as well. They kind of remind me of Dayshell. Tilian's vocals have insane range in this song. But what truly makes this album come to an amazing end is what is found on "Lost." Just the emotion through each member really showcases on this last track.
Lyrics — 8
"Stroke God, Millionaire" probably has the weirdest lyrics on this whole album out of like every song:
"The things that you do with your attitude
I'm awkward, I'm chipper, I'm random dude
The picture, I like it, so don't be rude
We all came here just to fap."
I mean, if you say DGD lyrics are cringeworthy, then you're basically just a Debbie downer. I mean, come on, who doesn't like to fap? hahaha. "Death of a Strawberry" is my favorite, lyrically:
"Sick of being in my head and thinkin about my fate and worried about my health
Wanna waste away my days with a pretty young thing and blow through all my wealth
I made some mistakes, not so good with planning
But I got some skills in easy living
Cut my ties with desperation
And learned to live with a little sensation."
"Variation" is another song I love, lyrically:
"We lie cold
Damn up the river we can go slow
We don't wanna know
Dull down our senses
We take our time
Ignoring all the signs
Living in fear of our lies
Never bad enough to break it or good enough to feel right
Been in overtime half our lives
We become so dependent
On the rush of the moment
Sanitize my head."
Overall Impression — 9
Dance Gavin Dance is honestly officially on a league of their own now. Their last album I compared them to a few bands regarding similarities, but DGD is just too different to compare to other bands. Tilian has found his place in this band, while the rest of the boys continue to do what they do best. The most impressive songs on this album are "Shark Dad," "Awkward," "Eagles Vs. Crows," and "Lost." All good things keep getting better in the DGD world, and I really do hope to see these guys live soon. And let's hope this 2 year release cycle, or rather 1 and a half year cycle continues if they keep releasing solid material like this.