Best of 2016 Playlist

October 23, 2016

Dance Gavin Dance - "Mothership " Review

Unconventional is the best way to describe this band. Dance Gavin Dance added their names to the list of bands who owned 2016. The end of the summer saw a string of singles, and now it's time for the main event. Let's dive into their 7th album, and see what the band has to offer this time around. 

To buy the album on iTunes click the following (link).

The band has gone through lineup changes, musical shifts, and career highs and lows. Right now, they're back on top and hitting their stride. The third album with Tillian Pearson handling clean vocals, he has cemented his place as the band's best vocalist. Outshining Kurt Travis, who handled both clean and unclean vocals during his tenure, and Jonny Craig (who is by now known for jumping from band to band).  

The album is formulaic as far as DGD's sound goes. It's not too far off from previous releases featuring the Pearson/Jon Mess combination. Just enough crazy to keep you on your toes. Of course if you're new to the band you'll think the band have gone off the deep end. You know a band has balls when they're bold enough to put some funky pan flute melodies into a song ("Young Robot" and "Inspire The Liars"). The band are no strangers to electronics either. The intense techno intro in "Philosopher King" is blasted apart by Mess' vocals and a powerful series of guitar riffs. The electronics make a return during the second verse of "Chocolate Jackalope". Never overpowering a song, but never under utilized either, DGD have a great balance of electronics, production, and traditional instrumental riffs. 

"Young Robot" gives you some breathing space, as it brings the tempo down from a 9 to a 7.5. A wise choice, as it also centers on Pearson's vocals as opposed to Mess' like on the previous track. The band don't sacrifice energy or skill for a more melodic track. The band's formula is ever present on this track and third song "Frozen One". Between the two, "Frozen One" stands out as the stronger (though the catchy R&B verses do give "Young Robot" a few extra points). The vocal harmonies, the electric guitar melody and strong drums give it the boost, also placing it between "Chucky..." and "Young Robot" on the tempo meter.

But if you really want to grab someone's attention start a song by screaming, "Cocaine cringe fest!!!!". Or give it a title like, "Flossie Dickie Bounce". The track does lives up to its name, as it has plenty of "bounce". The song is a perfect mix of DGD's eclectic style. The song has moments of hardcore punk and then it dips into more progressive rock styles during the latter half of the song. It's all over the map, as expected of the band. 

Starting the album on a catchy, upbeat note, "Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise" is a powerful number that sets the tone for the rest of the record. The quick, instrumentals, particularly the lead guitar, set a frenetic pace that sweeps you from verse to verse with little downtime. Once you start the song, be prepared to head bang for a solid 4 minutes. The entire song is an earworm, and captures the crazy nature of DGD perfectly. With lyrics like, "Riding a rhino, pico de gallo, rooster's beak, I'll sleep when I leap that jeep" and "Hades arc, golden tarp. Black hole, slack is for, slack is for cutting me more", it's easy to understand why the band dance the line of insane. 

Perhaps one of the strongest songs due in part to polarizing vocals. Mess's gritty uncleans compared to Pearson's falsetto can't be matched by any other vocal duo. Don't believe us? Tracks like "Here Comes The Winner" "Deception" and "Philosopher King" are a few gems where the band makes full use of their vocals abilities. 

This album is perfect for fans of Dance Gavin Dance, and those brave enough to try something new. From the absurdity of "Chucky vs The Giant Tortoise" to the melodic crooning in "Exposed", there's a little bit of everything. As opposed to other bands, who try to appeal to larger audiences by throwing in random nods to other genres, DGD's transitions between styles feels natural and makes their sound unique. We were expecting greatness, and that's what we got. 

Favorite Tracks - "Chucky vs...", "Deception", "Here Comes the Winner", "Chocolate Jackalope" and "Man Of The Year" to name a few. 

Average Rating - 8/10 
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