Artist – Dance Gavin Dance
Album – Downtown Battle Mountain
Year – 2007
Genre – Experimental Post Hardcore
I really don’t know what to say about Dance Gavin Dance. They really are undefinable. They have the roots of a post hardcore band, but the talent, musical soul and complexity of a jazz/prog outfit. They’re never afraid to experiment, and usually come out successful. This is just a band that you’re going to need to check out for yourself, so I really hope everyone gives that link a click! The clean vocalist in this song, Jonny Craig, is notorious for having one of the biggest egos in music. Sadly he is no longer in the band, but if you think pop singers like Cee Lo Green and Usher have all the talent, you haven’t heard Jonny sing. Jon Mess, the unclean vocalist, has screams that show expressivity unlike any other screams out there. I’ll let the song speak, so lets get started.
The opening drum fill hits you. Hard. Now you’re in it for the long haul, and you’ve made a wise choice. The bass begins. It’s funky. REAL funky. Then the guitar. The lick is jazzy, intricate, and clean. These are the feelings and sounds you will experience when hearing the first, oh I don’t know, five seconds of Lemon Meringue Tie. The key in this song is to try and take in as much as you can the first time. You really need to listen on all levels to truly gain an appreciation for what this band can do. If you don’t get it all the first time, there’s always the replay button. The short verses are filled with the extremely precise and odd timed playing of each instrument. Each musician is at their peak, performing musical feats few bands of their age group can accomplish. Then Jonny begins. His voice is soulful, smooth and silky, and he glides over every note with ease. The buildup to the chorus begins, and each musician gets faster and more complex. Frenetic fills, lightspeed guitar, and funk bass pull you to the top of the hill.
Chorus. Jonny lets it go. He explodes. He unleashes a voice you thought wasn’t possible since Michael Jackson died. My friends, you were wrong. “AND NOW YOU GO!” When you hear those words. You will chill up, friends. It’s that good, and that pleasing to listen to. Jon Mess caps it off with his screams throughout. What he can do with screams is quite extraordinary and also awesome. He seems to modulate his screams in a way that almost makes it seem like he’s actually talking. The intonation isn’t just high and low, it’s done in a way where there are subtleties within each line. The music in the chorus absolutely drives. It still keeps the same intricacies as before, but adds power and a whole lot of depth. It’s amazing to listen to, and it pumps you up to the max.
The post chorus sections are just as good, as Jonny and Jon duel back and forth with their talented voices. Jonny gets a long part to sing at his most achingly soulful, while the music backs him in just the right way, and then the same happens for Jon; screaming and making you know that he can really rip. After this, there is a bit of a slow down where Jonny sings, but the real focus shifts to the musicians, especially the great guitar playing skills of Will Swan. The pace picks up as it does in the beginning, with drums and guitar kicking it back in and the music exploding once again.
Jonny and Jon cap it off again and finish the song quite abruptly, but by now, everything you thought about this genre has been shattered, but this is a good thing.
The one thing that I’m still really undecided on for this song are the lyrics. They’re almost nonsensical, but yet make perfect sense. I’ll leave them for you do decipher, but perhaps they fit the band perfectly, as music and vocals often tend to do. There’s really too much to say about the musical talent of this group. All I can say is listen. Listen hard. Listen more than once. If you love intricacy and melody, without sacrificing edginess, this is the band for you. Dance Gavin Dance is a band that all fans of hardcore, post hardcore, and hard rock in general need to hear.
What do you all think? Comment Below!