Post-hardcore/prog-rock heavyweights Dance Gavin Dance have been thrown into the public eye for the past handful of years thanks to their numerous lineup changes. They have been though a few bassists and guitarists, but the real dramatics lie within the status of their current frontman. While Jonny Craig did his thing and Kurt Travis did his, and Jonny…did his again…we’re finally graced with Tilian Pearson‘s presence, and with a second look into what their new record will sound like with him at the helm; it seems like they’re going to do just fine.
Pearson, formerly of Tides of Man, was first experienced by DGD fans in a live setting, performing favorites such as “Alex English” and “Lemon Meringue Tie”. While he successfully garnered attention to his signature voice, it was a wonder what he would offer to the fans on the upcoming album, the band’s fifth, titled Acceptance Speech. Having been graced with “The Robot with Human Hair Pt. 4” this past July, we were shown that Pearson was up to the challenge of filling Craig’s and Travis’ shoes, but would that song simply be the cookie cutter for the rest of the album?
Fast forward to now–actually, Monday–when the titular track from the record was released for streaming on YouTube. Fans were abuzz to see the potential range of what the album could deliver. What they were given was one of DGD’s weakest songs to date. While screamer Jon Mess has quite clearly improved over the years, his delivery on this track is lacking. He gives short lines cut with unnecessary room for breath, and there’s no back-and-forth between him and Pearson like we’ve seen on previous DGD records. Pearson is the saving grace of this song. His dreamy falsetto will most likely be the high point of this album, alongside the killer guitar work that they always come with in tow.
“Acceptance Speech” also includes something that DGD have been doing recently that I, personally, am not a fan of – rapping, courtesy of guitarist and founding member Will Swan. It worked on “Powder to the People” and even on “Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex”, but after a minor interlude near the end of the song, the last thing anyone would want to hear is the phrase “Woke up in a new Bugatti” (seriously) because, let’s face it, we’re all sick to death of that song.
Dance Gavin Dance may have dropped the ball on “Acceptance Speech”, but the good thing about dropping the ball is that, try as it might, it’ll always give a slight bounce, which is what will hopefully come with the upcoming record. Hopes are still high for what’s to come, so let’s just call this a speed bump. “Acceptance Speech” can be streamed below via YouTube.
Dance Gavin Dance‘s Acceptance Speech will be released on October 8th via Rise Records.