Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Untitled 7" Review

One of the most promising groups in the post-hardcore genre today, La Dispute have been consistently pumping out quality music since their first EP in 2006. From there they went on to release several more solid EPs and eventually their most well renowned record, "Somewhere At The Bottom of the River Between Vega And Altair". This LP garnered them much attention from fans of the post-hardcore genre, including myself, so it was no surprise that when I stumbled upon one of their earliest releases that I was immediately immersed in the same charm offered on several of their other releases. Their "Untitled 7" contains only two songs, but is effective in providing a quality listening experience. It brings everything you've come to expect from the band, but doesn't feel stale in that regard. The harsh, cutthroat guitar, the cryptically engaging lyrics, and contrast between desperate and screaming vocals all reemerge as the strong points here and it's no surprise - La Dispute has been doing it wonderfully for the length of their career.

The addictively energetic opening track, "Only Everything Below", is one of the most solid songs the group has put out to date. The guitars immediately take center stage until Jordan Dreyer comes in with his swift vocal work, keeping the song at a quick and attention-grabbing pace. The song soon dims down slightly to effectively display how well this band can switch between quick, harsh thrashes and more mellow guitar work. It interchanges between the two several times throughout the song which gives it an interesting and entertaining structure. As per usual for the band, Dreyer paints a lush picture for the listener. With lyrics like "Still, the flowers open as she passes, and the birds, they sing to greet her/Though she heaves blood" he gives the song substance to go along with the impressive musicianship at work in the background. Each small detail of this track excels in a memorable and impressive fashion, however it's up to the next track to solidify this as an excellent outing.

The next and final song is "Shall Never Lose It's Power". It starts out noticeably slower than the previous track, but still has the desperate feel presented throughout this release. It doesn't take long for the melodic guitar picks to turn into full-on distortion-heavy riffs mixed with Dreyer's magnificent screams. The rage he depicts is so raw and passionate that it's rarely matched by anyone in the genre. Again, the lyrics portray another emotional and intelligent picture. Jordan Dreyer has a knack for always keeping your attention with his music and never releasing his grip on your interest. This is ever-present here and is what makes this a very enjoyable track, however not as memorable as the first.

Through a simple nine minutes of music, it feels like you've listened to half of a full-length LP. The music is substantial and syncs up with the lyrics in a majestic manner that La Dispute has always been masterful at. In the end, it all boils down to whether you've enjoyed La Dispute in the past. They provide everything that they've been both praised and criticized for, most notably Dreyer's whiny vocals. However, if this is your first time listening to the group, then you'll get a very solid idea of what's to come of their full-length, but not so much of their most recent EPs, which are a different beast in themselves. To say it simply, La Dispute's "Untitled 7" gives you every reason to love or despise the group, you take your pick.

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