Dance Gavin Dance is a post hardcore band out of Sacramento California, not Cupertino. DGD has a sort of studied eclectic sound, a carefully constructed randomness to their music. Post hardcore is sort of a generic term, so I’ll say this, if you are searching for the next The Shape of Punk to Come, this is most definitely not what you are looking for. Imagine this: Dave Matthews has a severe head injury and somehow fuses with the guy from Incubus while chain smoking Lucky’s, this thing teams up with the backing band from Jamiroquai who are trying to emulate Botch and not having it work out very well, and you’ll get close to Dance Gavin Dance.
Lyrically this band is a train wreck. The songs seem to be written with no regard to actual lyrical content at all, most of it sounds like gibberish. Bands who have done the nonsense lyric thing have frequently claimed they are more concerned with the overall sound than the lyrics, on the other hand most bands that do not suck manage both. I think I heard a line in there about selling me a loaded macbook and some paypal information in the track Need Money, but I’m not really sure. There are two singers in the band, the screamer Jon Mess, who I would appreciate more if I could understand what in the hell he was yelling about, and everyone’s favorite Apple salesman Jonny Craig handling the clean vocals, incidentally fresh out of his 1 week of rehab. He might have been better off going the Charlie Sheen route but I guess time will tell whether 1 week is enough to turn someone around 180 degrees. In all seriousness I do wish him well if he actually does make amends with the fans he boned. Sonically, his vocals sound sort whiny, like the guy from Incubus with less range. Also, there is some rapping, I think I can just say that and nothing more and people can make up their own minds about it. The real problem on Downtown Battle Mountain 2 though is that vocals almost never let up. Together Mess and Craig make up a beast somewhat similar to that chick from the Cranberries, the horrible cacophony that results, well, it just never stops. I feel like Newman talking about the mail, but midway through the album I found myself saying, will one or both of you shut the fuck up for a minute? They pretty much never do. The guitars by Will Swan are actually very similar throughout, however Will is quite talented despite being repetitive. How much this annoys you will depend greatly on how much you can take of contrived “randomness”. The bass is handled by Eric Lodge, who does a fairly good job of laying down something solid underneath the guitar’s accents. Matt Mingus handles the drums for Dance Gavin Dance, he’s an active type player for this style and for the most part it works well for the band. I could live without the endless snare rolls though.
Overall Dance Gavin Dance have produced a large collection of songs that sound very similar to each other with few exceptions. The vocals are almost without pause, the lyrics are inane, and the musical phrasing is mostly repetitive. The drums and bass are not that bad, but they are wasted here. It’s clear that individually they are talented musicians, however in this case the sum is less than the parts.
3.The Robot with Human Hair Pt. 2 ½
6.Heat Seeking ghost of Sex