Album Review: Dance Gavin Dance – “Instant Gratification”

Dance Gavin Dance
Instant Gratification
(Rise Records)

Dance Gavin Dance have gone through an array of member changes over the years, but it’s never hurt their sound ; record after record, the group has released some of the best technical post-screamo music out there. Their latest collection (and sixth LP), Instant Gratification, continues this tradition with such highlights as “We Own The Night”, “Something New”, “On The Run”, “Awkward”, “Death Of A Strawberry”, and “Variation”.

Featuring Tilian Pearson in his second leading role with the band, Instant Gratification shows DGD taking further chances than they did as a fresh unit creating Acceptance Speech. They’re not necessarily “out there” ideas, but some more rapping appears, as well as several instances of obvious electronic enhancements. Sadly, they still don’t sound as fluid to the collective sound as one would hope. Personally, I find that the tried-and-true formula of DGD to be the most enticing. That being said, songs like “Shark Dad”, “The Cuddler”, and “Eagles vs Crows” definitely find themselves more closely related to previous releases Dance Gavin Dance and Downtown Battle Mountain. They’re not major highlights of the record, but certainly enjoyable and easily accessible for longtime fans. Ultimately, it’s the mostly influenced Pearson tracks that take the tide here (“Variation”, “Something New”) as they did during Acceptance Speech, bringing to mind a more hyper-extended vision of his previous band, Tides Of Man.

Whether you prefer Jonny Craig, Kurt Travis, or Tillian Pearson at the helm of clean vocals, DGD have continuously written impressive songs that take the listener to new and exciting heights. Instant Gratification doesn’t quite come out as high as Acceptance Speech did (as far as Pearson records go), but it’s still an over-achieving record of momentum and energy. For what it’s worth, it may actually beat out Downtown Battle Mountain II for many, which featured the long-awaited reunion of Jonny Craig (and that was a big deal in this particular fan community).

Either way, Dance Gavin Dance have still got it, that’s for fuckin’ sure. (Nathaniel Lay)

Purchase Instant Gratification here.

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