Sound — 8
"Rooms of the House" opens with their classic conversation-like vocals and fast strumming rising in intensity building to the unique sound they've become famous for. Not only does it contain the raw vocals and blaring guitars of post-hardcore, but it starts to drift towards the rhythm and tones of punk and, at times, jazz/blues. These changes can be seen most in "Woman (In Mirror/Reading)" and "Objects in Space." The album ties together almost seamlessly the hardcore aspects of "Vancouver" as well as the poetic/acoustic aspects of their experimental albums "Here, Hear I-III."
Lyrics — 10
La Dispute's lyrics are very complicated and could be analyzed for days. Much of them are not designed as lyrics but as poetry, with no definite chorus, verse, or bridge. This allows them to open up to a whole new type of expression not limited to any format. As the album goes on you can pick out recurring themes in songs, some even from other albums. Many of them tell a story, a prime example being "Objects in Space," which talks about a man reminiscing about his past. He looks at all these objects reminding him of his past and what could have happened, but in the end he has to move on.
Overall Impression — 9
"Rooms of the House" was the first album by La Dispute I heard and, for the moment, is my favorite. It combines the hardcore aspects of "Vancouver" with the acoustic melodies of "Here, Hear." Any dislike of this album is certainly from personal preference not lack of quality. All the members of La Dispute are clearly talented professional musicians and artists, capable of conveying a large amount of emotion in all their work. If I were to somehow loose my music collection, this album would be at the top of the list to regain.
1. Extraordinary Diner Party
2. First Reactions After Falling Through the Ice
3. The Child We Lost 1963