ALBUM REVIEW: DANCE GAVIN DANCE “INSTANT GRATIFICATION”

dance gavin

Words By: DYLAN McATEER

Release Date: April 14, 2015 via Rise Records

The sixth studio album from Sacramentos ever-changing Dance Gavin Dance is out two years after their last release. Instant Gratification marks the first time the vocalists have stayed the same for back-to-back albums in eights years.

Now I like these guys, but jeez they go through a lot of different members and that can be kind of frustrating. Especially for those of us that appreciate consistency in our bands of choice.  They use the change to their favor however, because it ensures a new sound and feel to each album. At the same time though they always hold that Dance Gavin Dance quality that their fans love.

Instant Gratification sees the band bring back vocalists Tillian Pearson and Jon Mess, which is a good mix. Jon Mess has always been a great vocalist for the band and it was great to have him return in 2010. He just has this raw element about him that feels fresh and uncut. Mess finds a way to be unique in this genre and that is no easy task.

“Awkward” is one of my top tracks for this album because it is really different than the rest, especially the opening.  It starts out quite soft and escalates from cleans to screams in a natural way. The instrumental backing throughout fits so perfectly with the vocals. I find it really holds your attention and does leave you wondering or feeling lost.

Dance Gavin Dance has always been a multi-talented band with a ton of depth. As I’ve mentioned, they have a lot to offer in terms of variety. This couldn’t be more true in “Eagles vs. Crows” where guitarist Will Swan drops an incredible rap out of no where! They always keep you guessing from track to track and this works in their favor. Although not my overall favorite track, this one really rocks with the different vocal styles throughout.

“Lost” is a personal favorite of mine of this album because it sums up the overall message. The idea of filling uncertain about where you stand in life without that instant reward. Patience and success have a correlation that most people could for sure associate with. I think the vocal style they use in this song fits the message perfectly too, it sounds like two people screaming at each other. It’s the same vocalist of course on both sides, yet it might be fair to say it symbolizes an internal struggle to feel fulfilled.

No matter which way you slice it, they have a winner with this one and should be proud of their work. Eight members contributed throughout with guest guitarists appearing on some of the tracks. They hit a unique spot in the music scene, that can be appreciated by all listeners.

It is with great sadness that I must tell you they have no Toronto tour dates scheduled. Though they won’t instantly gratify you with a concert here, check the album and leave your thoughts!

Instant Gratification Tracklist:
  1. We Own the Night
  2. Stroke God, Millionaire
  3. Something New
  4. On the Run
  5. Shark Dad
  6. Awkward
  7. The Cuddler
  8. Legend
  9. Eagle Vs. Crows
  10. Death of a Strawberry
  11. Variation
  12. Lost

Check out “Awkward” via YouTube:

Check out “Lost” via YouTube:

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