Dance Gavin Dance
Last year Dance Gavin Dance put out their 8th album ‘Mothership’ (hence the infinite sign, it’s a sideways 8). This is one of the very few bands that literally keeps getting better with each release. So many older bands these days make me nervous when they release new material because you never know if it will live up to their old stuff but I never worry about that with DGD. I’m a massive fan of Tilian and I think he offers the best contrast DGD has ever had between his cleans and Jon Mess’ screams. I totally get why people like Jonny Craig but I think Tilian brings more to the band and opens up more dynamic possibilities. The beginning of “Inspire The Liars” shows how versatile Tilian is. It starts off soft but you can hear the hard drum hits in the back and all the sudden Tilian belts out these harsh cleans that are almost borderline yells. The start of “Chocolate Jackalope” show how pure his cleans can be as well; it’s like an angel singing to you. If you haven’t heard Dance Gavin Dance before they’re a pretty weird band so having Tilian in the mix allows them to explore even more of those crazy elements. Musically these guys are pretty far out there; there are very few bands that even come close to resembling their style (A Lot Like Birds is one of them if you’re interested). They have no problem having sudden starts and stops (1:25 in “Man Of The Year” for example), funky jazz sections, psychedelic spacey sounds, and sections that resemble interludes that still have vocals. Honestly you can’t categorize DGD. Each song is so different than the next and you never know what to expect.
Unlike so many bands these days they don’t follow a formula for their music. Choruses can pop in at any time, Jon and Tilian switch off at the most unexpected times, they overlay their vocals in crazy ways (Man Of The Year has so many examples of this it’s crazy, they’re almost always singing over each other or doing something in the background), and a lot of their parts seem so random but they still work so perfectly. This band is the definition of orchestrated chaos. Will Swan, their guitarist, is a monster when it comes to songwriting. He mixes in a ridiculous amount of sounds and seamlessly transitions between them. He keeps it relatively technical while switching off between beautifully peaceful sections and solidly heavy ones. “Petting Zoo Justice” starts off with 20 seconds of blast beats and that’s something you would never expect from a band like DGD. Every part of their songs is deliberate; they have no filler sections and everything they do highlights how talented they are as musicians. That’s exactly what I mean when I say they’re so unpredictable and willing to literally try everything. They don’t even confine it to the intro, they made it the staple of the song’s chorus. The last minute and a half of “Man Of The Year” is one of the coolest things I’ve heard from these guys and was a perfect way for them to end the album. Honestly I could write a review five times longer than this because DGD gives you so much with their music. Maybe one day I’ll do a track by track analysis like how I did with The Devil Wears Prada but until then just trust me, this album will blow you away.