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Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Dance Gavin Dance - Downtown Battle Mountain 2 (2011)

Band: Dance Gavin Dance
Release: Downtown Battle Mountain II
Genre: Post-Hardcore/Experimental
Members: Jonny Craig, Jonathan Mess, Will Swan, Eric Lodge, Matt Mingus
Label: Rise Records
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DanceGavinDance

1. Spooks
2. Pounce Bounce
3. The Robot With Human Hair Pt. 2 1/2
4. Thug City
5. Need Money
6. Elder Goose
7. Heat Seeking Ghost Of Sex
8. Blue Dream
9. Privilously Poncheezied
10. Swan Soup
11. Purple Reign
12. People You Knew [Hot Topic Exclusive]
13. Perfect [Hot Topic Exclusive]

Review: 8.9/10
Standout Tracks: Heat Seeking Ghost Of Sex, Spooks, Perfect.
To say Dance Gavin Dance pushes the limit with their new release Downtown Battle Mountain II would be an echo to all of their other releases. They have no problem being a band that is difficult to assign to any genre, but that has also been their one and only weakness. It certainly sounds fresh and exciting, but they also sound like... Dance Gavin Dance. No matter who it is that performs the dual unclean/clean vocals for the band, the music essentially sounds the same. From the soft, melodic parts with Jonny crooning over the music to the jazzy, spazztic breakdowns with Jon screaming doesn't offer much new flavor for long time listeners like me. Regardless, I do love that they have not followed the trend that 90% of other bands follow by trying to change their sound to appeal to the so-called "changing of the times." This is a good example of "too much of the same thing is a good thing." I was certainly the first at the battlefront when I first read that DGD was making a sequel to one of my favorite albums of all time with the same lineup as the first (minus Sean O'Sullivan, sadly). One true problem I have with this album is that they really should have tossed in both of the Hot Topic Exclusive songs into all versions.
"Spooks" opens up with a long awaited Jonny Craig and DGD reunion, only to have the much missed Jon Mess scream about acid whores and children smoking weed. By the way, is it just me or has Jon Mess really stepped up his vocals since DTBM 1? "Pounce Bounce" creates a positive energy by providing an upbeat vibe that is consistent with the entire album. "The Robot With Human Hair Pt. 2 1/2" in truth follows Pt. 3 in terms of overall sound and structure but also includes bits and pieces that made Pt.'s 1 and 2 instant classics. "Need Money" is a song title that came at the wrong time, insuring correlations between that and of the recent Jonny Craig scandal for a long time. It is a stand out track though, especially about a minute into the song with Mess screaming I'm so fed so fed I'm green, I gave my liver to the football team, I don't do no do no do no sluts, I got acid I gargle for a fresh brain stump. "Heat Seeking Ghost Of Sex" immediately brought back memories of the first DTBM, when I first listened to it in my high school P.E. class, with its catchy guitars and the need to dance the night away. "Blue Dream" builds up quite nicely with a nice mellow dreamscape to have the sweetness of the kush to have the high settle in and make my head move to the beat... oh wait I was talking about the weed strain blue dream. The song pretty much follows the same way as the strain (one can imagine smoking while listening to this song). "Swan Soup" just sounds like it was conceived solely by Will Swan because the guitars are frantic and chaotic, only to slowly calm the beast inside and have Jon Mess bring it out again... All within the first minute. As stated before, I have a problem with why they didn't include "Perfect" and "People You Knew" into all versions. They both offer Jon Mess (on People You Knew) and Jonny Craig (on Perfect) excellent stand alone tracks that truly shine on the album as a whole.
The lyrics written by these two is as random as ever before and really makes it more enjoyable. Can any one of these songs actually mean something bigger? In truth, I do not mind at all. If anyone is in a bad mood, one can find the cure by blasting this album at full volume. I love this album and I would recommend it to both old and new listeners of the post-hardcore genre. Buy this album now!

For Fans Of: Emarosa, Saosin, Mozart Season

1 comment:

  1. Jon Mess did step up his vocals i love it and i love this cd!