Oh La Dispute, how I’ve missed you.
It’s been a long three years since the hardcore quintet from Michigan released their last full-length. Luckily, it was announced yesterday that the follow up to 2008’s Somewhere At the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair would be released on Oct. 4. As if the news of the upcoming record, entitled Wildlife, wasn’t enough, the band also released the first song from the album, “Harder Harmonies.” I’ve missed the chaos that the band delivers with every song and “Harder Harmonies,” brought back all that I was missing and more.
If this song is any indication of the album, the propulsive drumming from Brad Lugt in the intro and the intertwining guitar riffs from Chad Sterenburg and Kevin Whittemore signify that we will have a more impressive instrumental effort. Influence from bands such as At the Drive In and Thursday seem apparent in both the verses and the outro, though singer Jordan Dreyer’s voice retains its unique sound. The riff around the 50-second mark is infectious and carries the band into the more restrained middle passage of the song. While I’ve always enjoyed Dreyer’s voice the more frantic it sounds, his control in the middle of the song is fantastic. It makes it all the more powerful when he goes all out in the final minute.
Between the guitar lines from Sterenburg and Whittemore and the vocals from Dreyer, “Harder Harmonies,” has captured me hook, line and sinker. I completely forgot that La Dispute would be releasing something in 2011 when I created my most anticipated list at the end of 2010. If this new album holds up in quality to its debut song, this could be a frontrunner for the top spot on many album of the year lists.